Kyle Whittingham’s culture of toughness


Utah Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham walks the field as Utah and Northwestern prepare to play in the SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2023.

Former Utah football coach Urban Meyer took inspiration from the military and ran his preseason workouts in his two years in Salt Lake City like basic training.

He took a term from the Marine Corps — the crucible — a 54-hour strength and endurance test that all recruits have to complete to officially become a Marine.

It pushes recruits to their limits, hence the name “crucible,” which is the term for a vessel in which precious metals are subjected to extremely high temperatures to remove impurities.

The result: a perfect gold bar.

When Meyer arrived in Salt Lake City from Bowling Green, he set the tone immediately in an early 2003 conditioning workout, chaining the doors to the practice facility shut and covering the windows, the players training until they wanted to quit, then pushing through it and training some more.

That, Meyer said, was the edge.

“That’s when stuff starts happening to your body,” Meyer said. “You get in better shape. Put yourself in an 18 year old’s mind. OK, my body’s busting down. I can’t lift that weight anymore. I can’t go any harder. Guess where are you? You’re at the edge. Find a way to push through that. That’s how you become great.”

Meyer implemented his military-like training into Utah’s culture, and it worked out for him and his team. In 2003, his first year at Utah, the Utes won their first outright conference championship since 1957, going 10-2 overall.

They followed that up with the school’s first undefeated season in the modern era, capping off their 12-0 campaign in 2004 with a win over Pittsburgh in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl to become the first team from a non-automatic qualifying conference to play…

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Author : Deseret News

Publish date : 2024-03-31 01:00:26

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