Fred Whittingham

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Fred Whittingham
Personal information
Date of birth (1939-02-04)February 4, 1939
Place of birth Boston, MA, United States
Date of death October 27, 2003(2003-10-27) (aged 64)
Career information
Position(s) Linebacker
College Brigham Young
Cal. Poly
Stats
Playing stats Pro Football Reference
Playing stats NFL.com
Playing stats DatabaseFootball
Team(s) as a player
1964
1966
1967-1968
1969
1970
1971
Los Angeles Rams
Philadelphia Eagles
New Orleans Saints
Dallas Cowboys
Boston Patriots
Philadelphia Eagles
Team(s) as a coach/administrator
1973–1977
1978–1981
1982
1983–1990
1991
1992–1994
1995
1996–1997
1998–2000
BYU (LB Coach)
BYU (DC)
Los Angeles Rams (Special Teams and TE)
Los Angeles Rams (LB Coach)
Los Angeles Rams (Scout)
Utah (DC)
Oakland Raiders (LB Coach)
Oakland Raiders (DC)
Utah (LB Coach)
[1]

Fred George "Mad Dog" Whittingham (February 4, 1939 – October 27, 2003) was an American football linebacker in the National Football League for nine years[2] on various teams including the Los Angeles Rams, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the New Orleans Saints. He played college football at Brigham Young University and California Polytechnic State University. After retiring from the NFL he coached at the NFL and at the college level for almost twenty years. He is also the father of current Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham.

Playing career[edit]

On October 29, 1960, Whittingham was one of the survivors of the crash of the Cal-Poly team plane in Toledo, Ohio as the Mustangs were returning to California from a game at Bowling Green.[3] One of his surviving teammates was Ted Tollner, who would also later coach at Brigham Young University.

Coaching career[edit]

Throughout Whittingham's coaching career he held various assistant coaching positions in both the NFL and the college football ranks. After retiring from the NFL he began coaching at the high school level. In 1972, as the first-year head coach of the Alhambra (CA) Moors, Whittingham led the team to an 8-1 record and into a pre-CIF playoff game.[4] He returned to Brigham Young University, his alma mater, in 1973 to coach under Lavell Edwards. He coached the linbackers and later became the defensive coordinator. After his time at BYU he left to coach in the NFL where he spent nine years with the Los Angeles Rams. He returned to college football in 1992 to be the defensive coordinator at Utah.[2] While he was the defensive coordinator for Utah he hired his son, Kyle Whittingham, to coach the linebackers. After three years at Utah he left again to coach in the NFL and his son Kyle replaced him as defensive coordinator.[4] After spending three years with the Oakland Raiders he returned to Utah to coach under his son Kyle as the linebackers coach. He continued in that position until 2001 when he was fired by coach Ron McBride, at which time he encouraged his son to stay on as the defensive coordinator.[4] Whittingham retired from coaching after leaving Utah.

Personal life[edit]

Whittingham was born in Boston, Massachusetts on February 4, 1939. He was placed in state foster care until he was adopted by the Whittinghams, who lived in Warwick, Rhode Island, when he was 9 months old.[4]

While at BYU Whittingham met and married Nancy Livingston, a cheerleader and BYU student from California. Together they have four sons and two daughters.[5]

Later in life Whittingham converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the same church that his wife was a member of and the same church that runs BYU.

Whittingham died on October 27, 2003 in a hospital in Provo, Utah of complications from back surgery.[5]

Awards[edit]

Whittingham was voted as one of the 50 best athletes of the century in Rhode Island.[5] Named NFL player of the week in 1968.[4] In 2002 he was inducted into the Cal. Poly sports Hall of Fame.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Player Bio: Fred Whittingham". Utah Official Athletic Site. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  2. ^ a b Doug Robinson. "Defensive Coordinator for Utah, Whittingham, Has BYU Background". Deseret News. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  3. ^ http://lib.calpoly.edu/universityarchives/history/1960crash/index.html
  4. ^ a b c d e Doug Robinson. "Whittinghams: Like father like son". Deseret News. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Obituary: Fred Whittingham". Deseret News. Retrieved 2009-07-02.