By Brent Hinckley
The wheels on the Mountain West Conference coaching bus are going around again.
Utah defensive coordinator Kyle Whittingham was on BYU campus to meet with head coach Gary Crowton Wednesday, Dec. 11. Whittingham was interviewing for the job left vacant by the retirement of defensive coordinator Ken Schmidt.
New Mexico Lobos” defensive coordinator Bronco Mendenhall received permission from the University of New Mexico to meet with BYU officials. He is scheduled to interview for the defensive coordinator position on Saturday.
Both Whittingham and Mendenhall have ties to BYU and Crowton.
Mendenhall is from Alpine and attended Snow Junior College where he played for Crowton. Later Mendenhall became the secondary coach at Louisiana Tech underneath Crowton.
Whittingham was an all-conference linebacker for BYU from 1978-1981. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at BYU (1985-86) and went to Utah in 1994.
Whittingham interviewed with University of Utah Athletic Director Chris Hill last week about becoming the head coach.
However, Utah announced on Wednesday the hiring of Bowling Green”s Urban Meyer to replace the fired Ron McBride as its football coach.
Meyer officially will be introduced today, Utah sports information director Liz Abel said.
Meyer went 17-6 in two seasons as Bowling Green”s head coach. Just a week ago, he insisted he wasn”t pursuing another job. He led the team to a 9-3 mark this season, including an 8-0 start and No. 20 ranking in the AP Top 25.
The Falcons set a Mid-American Conference scoring record this season, averaging 41 points a game.
Meyer was an assistant coach at Notre Dame, Colorado State, Illinois State and Ohio State and a student assistant at Cincinnati.
Utah fired McBride last month after the Utes” second losing record in three seasons (5-6). He coached Utah for 13 seasons, taking the team to six bowl games.
With Meyer heading to the U, Wyoming Athletic Director Lee Moon lost one of the potential candidates to replace fired head coach Vic Koenning.
Reportedly still on Moon”s short list is Montana coach Joe Glenn and Maryland offensive coordinator Charlie Taafe.