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Kyle Whittingham: Utah Coach Would Be Right Man to Rebuild Penn State

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IDecember 10, 2011

Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham, who was expected to be in the running for the Arizona State position, has reportedly been contacted by Penn State about its coaching vacancy.

According to CBSSports.com, "a source close to" Whittingham revealed Utah's coach was contacted Saturday by the university, which is still reeling from the scandal surrounding Jerry Sandusky.

Whittingham would have some big shoes to fill at Penn State after Joe Paterno's firing amidst the scandal.

But he's the right man for the job.

Former winner of the AFCA Coach of the Year and Paul "Bear" Bryant Award, Whittingham has coached the Utes to a 65-25 overall record and 6-1 bowl record in his eight years with the team.

The Utes disappointed this season, going 7-5, but they won at least 10 games in each of the past three seasons before that. It marked the first time in school history that Utah produced three consecutive seasons of 10 wins or more.

Now, Whittingham is no Urban Meyer, let's make that clear. But for the situation Penn State is in, Whittingham may be the best coach the university can get.

Whittingham is widely respected throughout college football for the job he's done at Utah. You give him more talent at Penn State and the football team could remain strong.

Of course, there's the question if Whittingham wants to work at Penn State. FoxSportsArizona.com reported earlier that the 52-year-old would prefer to coach Arizona State or a California school.

Coaching Penn State would be a challenge given the circumstances, but if Whittingham kept the Nittany Lions winning ballgames, he would be lauded as someone who helped Penn State get back off the ground.

One thing's for sure: Penn State is going to have to make a heck of a pitch.

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