POSTED: Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 1:49pm
UPDATED: Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 6:36pm
Former NFL quarterback and collegiate head coach Todd Whitten has joined Sean Kugler’s UTEP staff. Whitten will coach the Miner wide receivers.
“Coach Whitten has been a successful head coach at the Division I-AA and Division II levels,” Kugler said. “He has also been a coordinator at the Division I level. He brings a lot of experience. He has a great background recruiting in Texas. He’s going to recruit West Texas and North Texas for us. I think he’ll have a great relationship with those coaches, having dealt with them for an extended period of time. He is an extremely intelligent coach with a lot of experience. He and Spencer Leftwich were college teammates, and the chemistry that they’ll bring is awesome.”
Whitten was the head coach at Tarleton State (1996, 2000-04) and Sam Houston State (2005-09), compiling a 70-51 record. Most recently he served as the offensive coordinator at Lamar for two years (2010-11) and spent the 2012 season as the head coach at Arlington Heights High School in Fort Worth, Texas.
Whitten led Sam Houston State to runner-up finishes in the Southland Conference in 2006 (6-5) and 2007 (7-4). In 2006, D.D. Terry ranked seventh in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) in rushing, averaging 132.8 yards per game, and 11th in scoring with 9.8 points per game. In 2007, Sam Houston State held FCS top-25 rankings in passing offense (16th, 265.3 ypg) and total offense (21st, 419.3 ypg). Quarterback Rhett Bomar rated eighth nationally in total offense (290.6 ypg) en route to being chosen in the fifth round of the NFL Draft by the New York Giants.
Whitten was 45-23 in two separate stints at Tarleton State. In 1996, he directed the Texans to a 5-5 mark. His second tenure produced a stellar 40-18 mark over five seasons, including 10 wins in 2001 and nine in 2002. The Texans won the Lone Star Conference championship in 2001, made their first-ever playoff appearance and closed out the year rated 10th in the Division II poll. Tarleton had a total of 34 All-Conference selections in 2002 and 2003, including 19 first team honorees, while capturing back-to-back Lone Star Conference North Division titles. The Texans set 30 school records during the Whitten era, and he garnered conference coach of the year honors on four occasions (1996, 2001-03).
Whitten was also on the staffs at Texas Tech (graduate assistant 1988-89), New Mexico State (quarterbacks coach 1990-93), UTEP (running backs coach 1994-95), Wyoming (offensive coordinator 1997-98) and Sam Houston State (offensive coordinator 1999).
One of the most prolific quarterbacks in Stephen F. Austin history, Whitten ranks second on the school charts with 6,304 passing yards and 60 touchdowns. He signed a free agent contract and played for the New England Patriots during the NFL players strike in 1987. He was also a standout baseball player in college and was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies. He was inducted into SFA’s Athletics Hall of Honor in 2001.
The Dallas native earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Stephen F. Austin in 1987 and added a master’s in education from Texas Tech in 1990.
He and his wife, Dana, have three sons (Brady, Blaze, Tate) and a daughter (Maddie).