Kyle Whittingham to earn $2.6M in '15

SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah and head coach Kyle Whittingham have agreed to the terms of a new four-year deal that could keep him with the program through 2018.

The school announced Friday that Whittingham will earn $2.6 million in 2015 with an automatic $100,000 raise each year through 2018. The total contract is worth $11 million.

Athletic director Chris Hill said in a release that the school is excited to have reached the deal and is "looking forward to a successful football season next fall and in the years to come."

Utah finished last season with a 9-4 record, including a 45-10 victory over Colorado State in the Las Vegas Bowl. The Utes were ranked No. 21 in the season's final AP Top 25.

Whittingham said in the statement that he appreciates the confidence and commitment the university has shown the football program.

"We have a talented team returning for the 2015 season and we're excited about the future of Utah football," Whittingham said. "The number one priority right now is finishing up another outstanding recruiting class."

Whittingham has an overall record of 85-43 at Utah. He has been with the program for some 20 seasons, but took over as head coach following the Fiesta Bowl-winning 2004 season after the departure of Urban Meyer.

Wittingham led the Utes to an undefeated season in 2008, capped by a Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama.

The contract ends speculation that Whittingham might have been considering other opportunities. Following the season, defensive coordinator Kelani Sitake and defensive line coach Ilaisa Tuiaki left the Utes for Oregon State, and offensive coordinator Dave Christensen left to become offensive line coach at Texas A&M.