|No. 55, 56, 59, 53|
|Date of birth:||February 4, 1939|
|Place of birth:||Boston, MA|
|Date of death:||October 27, 2003(aged 64)|
|Place of death:||Provo, Utah|
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||240 lb (109 kg)|
|High school:||Warwick Veterans Memorial (NE)|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Stats at NFL.com|
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com|
Fred George "Mad Dog" Whittingham (February 4, 1939 – October 27, 2003) was an American football linebacker in the National Football League for nine years 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.
He had a troubled youth and missed half of his senior season, which scared schools away, even though he was considered one of the best athletes in the New England area.
He was a part of the Tom Lee boxing team, based on a recommendation he received to control his temper. He won the 1958 Intermountain Heavyweight Championship and the Regional Golden Gloves competition in Las Vegas, receiving offers to turn professional.
In 1959, he decided to transfer to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, before facing the possibility of being expelled after incurring in violations to the school's conduct code.
On October 29, 1960, he was in a hospital with a concussion and didn't travel with his football team, making him 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 against Bowling Green University. One of his surviving teammates was Ted Tollner, who would also later become a football coach in the NFL.
He was a three-year starter in football, playing tight end on offense and defensive end on defense, while earning Little All-American honors in 1961. In his senior season he played offensive guard, earning All-Coast honors. During his college career he also competed in track and field, finishing third in the discus and the shot put events in the 1961 California Collegiate Athletic Association Championships.
In 2002, he was inducted into Cal Poly Athletics Hall of fame.
Los Angeles Rams
Whittingham wasn't selected in the 1963 NFL draft and was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Los Angeles Rams. He injured his knee as a rookie and was placed on the injured reserve list. He played guard, before being waived in 1964.
Philadelphia Eagles (first stint)
New Orleans Saints
Whittingham was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the 1967 NFL Expansion Draft, becoming the franchise's first starting middle linebacker. In 1968, he was named the NFL defensive player of the week, after playing a key role in an upset against the Minnesota Vikings. On September 9, 1969, he was waived after having issues with owner John Mecham.
New England Patriots
Philadelphia Eagles (second stint)
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. 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. 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. 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. Whittingham retired from coaching after leaving Utah.
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.
While at BYU Whittingham met and married Nancy Livingston, a cheerleader and BYU student from California. Together they have four sons and two daughters. 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.
- Doug Robinson. "Defensive Coordinator for Utah, Whittingham, Has BYU Background". Deseret News. Retrieved 2009-06-22.
- Doug Robinson. "Whittinghams: Like father like son". Deseret News. Retrieved 2009-07-02.
- "Obituary: Fred Whittingham". Deseret News. Retrieved 2009-07-02.
- New England Patriots bio
- Cal Poly Hall of Fame bio
- U.'s Whittingham followed in his father's footsteps