Urban Meyer only spent two seasons as head coach at the University of Utah, but he still keeps them in mind, referring to them often and giving the Utah program added exposure.
In Urban Meyer's press conference yesterday regarding his coaching leave, he had kind words to say about Kyle Whittingham and the University of Utah's program:
"I think what happens is I think head coaches get far too much credit. Programs are programs; that's why you see I go back to like the Colts. The Colts obviously have a heck of a program. I don't know their record right now; I think they're doing very well. But Coach Dungy built a program. There's other great examples of programs that if you follow Kyle Whittingham has done a great job at the University of Utah because he built a program, and it's a program built on rock, it's not on sand."
This is something that is becoming quite common for Meyer. Another example this was the day after his Gators won the 2008 BCS Title. In a speech celebrating the victory, Meyer had praise about the Utes and their 2008 season.
"Utah is not going away now. If you just go evaluate that program - I'm selling Utah. You keep hearing the word 'BCS conferences.' I can't think of many schools that are better than Utah. When you hear 'BCS conference' that means nothing to a lot of coaches like myself."
"You get your brains kicked in every year and you finish 3-8, you're not BCS. You might get a little bigger check at the end of the year because you're in a nice conference, but Utah is a much better program than most BCS programs. That's most."
In SEC country, people do not care one bit about Utah from the Mountain West Conference. Urban Meyer giving the Utes shout-outs like this is nothing but positive for Utah's program. Urban Meyer is one of the most respected figures in all of college football. People listen to what he says.
Urban Meyer also has given back to the University of Utah, by helping fund the "Joseph B. Wirthlin Scholarship" last year. He and Kyle Whittingham were the main contributers to that scholarship last December.
Meyer "got the ball rolling" —as Kyle Whittingham puts it— taking the Utah program to the national stage. Meyer put the Utah program on the map, which is much more prestigious as a result of him. Kyle Whittingham learned many things from Meyer, which is very evident in the way Whittingham's teams play well in big games. The effect of Urban Meyer's two lone seasons at Utah is still giving their program a tremendous boost to this day.