Defensive coordinator/safeties coach Morgan Scalley gives players instructions during Utah football practice at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City Tuesday, April 12, 2016.
SALT LAKE CITY — It won’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s watched — or been victimized by — the University of Utah football team’s defense, but that unit’s leader is a finalist for a prestigious award.
Defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley has been named one of five finalists for the Broyles Award, which annually goes to the top assistant coach in the nation.
The five coaches come from programs that are all still in the College Football Playoff conversation. Others in contention with Scalley include Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning, LSU passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach Joe Brady, Ohio State co-defensive coordinator/secondary coach Jeff Hafley and Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Snow.
Scalley’s defense — he also coaches the safeties — leads the FBS in rushing defense (56.3) and ranks third nationally in total defense (241.6) and scoring defense (11.3). Only one of 12 offenses has managed to rush for more than 100 yards this season. The Utes are also 10th in FBS in red zone defense (.700) and have held six opponents to seven points or fewer.
Congratulations to @SafetyPride! He is 1 of just 5 finalists for the @BroylesAward – presented to the best assistant coach in cfb. pic.twitter.com/aepQEDiPaZ
— Utah Football (@Utah_Football) December 2, 2019
Scalley, who recently turned 40, has been an assistant coach under Utah’s Kyle Whittingham for 12 years, including the past four seasons as defensive coordinator.
Then-Utah defensive coordinator Gary Andersen was also selected as a finalist in 2008. Ute offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig was a finalist in 2001 at Fresno State. Former BYU and Utah offensive coordinator Norm Chow won the award in 2002 while at USC. Winners from the previous five seasons aren’t eligible.
The award will be announced on Tuesday, Dec. 10, in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Scalley excelled at safety for the Utes as a player from 2001-04. He was the Mountain West co-Defensive Player of the Year and a second-team All-American in 2004 after captaining the fourth-ranked Utes to a 12-0 record, including a Fiesta Bowl win over Pittsburgh.
In 2005, Scalley was awarded the inaugural Pat Tillman award, which recognizes players for character, intelligence, sportsmanship and service. He was also the first-ever recipient of the Deseret News Utah Mr. Football Award in 1998 at the end of a stellar prep career at Highland High in Salt Lake City.
Source:: Deseret News – Sports News