Kyle Whittingham’s #AskCoachWhitt Is Fun and Insightful

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Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham knows a thing or two about football — certainly more about it than he does the popular Nintendo franchise, Zelda.

The above is from Kyle Whittingham’s weekly, Monday morning social media Q&A, #AskCoachWhitt, one of the most entertaining and enlightening insider looks at college football offered on Twitter and Facebook. Whittingham fields questions on game decisions, player development and pretty much anything else — within the boundaries of good taste, of course.

So how did #AskCoachWhitt get started?

“Good question,” Whittingham said with a laugh. “It wasn’t my brainchild…Basically, it’s a way to interact with our fans.”

The concept itself, which began last season, is hardly new or revolutionary. Other programs across various sports have opened the floor to questions for coaches and athletes — sometimes with disastrous results.

What makes Whittingham Q&As noteworthy: the Utah head coach’s transparency. Falling into the dreaded coachspeak might be easy, especially in fewer than 140 characters. He might also be able to easily dismiss commentary on game decisions as armchair quarterbacking.

However, Whittingham’s refreshingly open about play calls. Example following the Utes’ too-close-for-comfort win Week 7 at Oregon State, in which they scored just 19 points:

“We want to be accountable for what we’re doing on offense — or the entire football team, for that matter,” he said. “I have no problem [admitting] when he, at times, don’t dial up the best plays. That’s not uncommon in football. Nobody’s practice. You’re not always going to have the exact play dialed up that’s the best play.”

Whittingham noted that while Utah’s offensive numbers are up on the season as a whole, the Utes “weren’t very good Saturday” at Oregon State. Such candor doesn’t always exist in college football, but it makes the experience of connecting through social media more genuine.

It also doesn’t hurt that Whittingham doesn’t seem to avoid the jokier topics.

The next step this offseason is getting Kyle him an NES and copy of Zelda. Perhaps by 2017, #AskCoachWhitt can include reviews of old Nintendo games.