Dave Christensen will be Utah's offensive coordinator in 2014, the school announced today.
The move to bring the former Wyoming head coach to Salt Lake City has been in the works nearly since the moment Christensen left Laramie. Christensen and Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham are long-time friends and had dinner earlier this week, we are told.
“I am thrilled at the opportunity to work with Kyle again,” said Christensen in a statement. “We were assistants together many years ago at Idaho State and I have great respect for him and what he has accomplished since then. I am also excited to be back coaching at the BCS level and at the University of Utah in particular, where I think there is a great opportunity for success. I have experience in the Pac-12 as a player and a coach at Washington and it is exciting to be back in one of the premier conferences in the country.”
Christensen was an offensive coordinator for 17 years on Gary Pinkel's staffs at Toledo (1992-2000) and Missouri (2001-08) before accepting his first head coaching job at Wyoming prior to the 2009 season. Missouri ranked among the top 16 nationally in total offense, scoring offense and yards per play in 2007 and 2008.
The Utes employed two offensive coordinators in 2013, Dennis Erickson and Brian Johnson, and both plan to remain on staff at this time. Johnson will coach the Utes' quarterbacks, and Erickson will coach running backs. Christensen will add tight ends duty in addition to his role as offensive coordinator.
The 5-7 Utes ranked 65th nationally in scoring offense (29.2 points per game), 76th in total offense (397 yards per game) and 74th in yards per play (5.51).
In what has to be one of the most unique arrangements in the country, Kyle Whittingham will now have six people on his staff with offensive coordinator experience: Christensen, Erickson, Johnson, passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach Aaron Roderick (at Southern Utah), fullbacks coach Iliasa Tuiaki (at Kearns [Utah] High School) and football operations director Jeff Rudy (at Ontario [Calif.] High School).