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Utah's Kyle Whittingham Wins at the 23rd Annual Paul 'Bear' Bryant College Coach of the Year Awards
Date:1/15/2009

HOUSTON, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kyle Whittingham, head coach of the University of Utah, was named the 2008 Paul "Bear" Bryant College Football Coach of the Year at a ceremony held in Houston tonight.

Coach Whittingham was selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association and announced live at the event, which is held annually to benefit the American Heart Association. The award honors excellence in coaching while raising funds to fight heart disease and stroke.

"Heartiest congratulations to Coach Whittingham for winning the 2008 Paul 'Bear' Bryant College Football Coach of the Year Award," said National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association president, Doug Logan. "The quality and depth of this year's field of finalists paralleled the remarkable competitive balance in major college football for 2008. Coach Whittingham should have immense pride in his accomplishment."

In four years as Utah's head coach, Kyle Whittingham has won 73-percent of his games, gone 4-0 in bowl games, led Utah to its best season in 115 years of football and engineered the biggest win in school history. In the course of the season, Utah beat four schools listed in the final 2008 regular season Associated Press poll: No. 4 Alabama, No. 11 TCU, No. 17 Brigham Young and No. 24 Oregon State.

Utah owns the longest current bowl win streak in the nation at eight games and Whittingham has had a hand in all of them. Prior to assuming the head coaching duties in 2005, Whittingham was the defensive coordinator for bowl wins over Fresno State (1999), USC (2001) and Southern Miss (2003), and the co-head coach in Utah's BCS-busting Fiesta Bowl win over Pittsburgh in the 2004 season. He came to Utah as the defensive line coach in 1994 and was promoted to defensive coordinator a year later. In his 15-year tenure, Utah has logged a 123-55 record and played in nine bowl games -- winning all but one.

ABOUT THE PAUL "BEAR" BRYANT COLLEGE COACHING AWARDS

The Paul "Bear" Bryant College Football Coaching Awards honor excellence in coaching while raising funds for the AHA to fight heart disease and stroke, the nation's No. 1 and No. 3 killers. Bryant himself suffered a heart attack prior to his death in 1983. Funds raised benefit research, community education and outreach programs of the AHA. To learn more visit www.heart.org/bryantawards.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL SPORTSCASTERS AND SPORTSWRITERS ASSOCIATION

The NSSA is the largest national association that focuses on the crafts of both sportscasting and sportswriting. The association, with its headquarters in Salisbury, N.C., honors the National Sportscaster of the Year and the National Sportswriter of the Year. The NSSA also selects the top sportscaster and sportswriter for each state annually and inducts the nation's top sports journalists into its Hall of Fame each April.


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SOURCE American Heart Association - Houston Division
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