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Utah Hires Eastern Washington’s Kiel McDonald As Running Backs Coach

The University of Utah filled its vacant running backs coach position on Tuesday with Eastern Washington’s Kiel McDonald.

SALT LAKE CITY–The University of Utah filled its vacant running backs coach position on Tuesday with Eastern Washington’s Kiel McDonald. McDonald, 33, most recently coached the same group at Eastern Washington for five seasons, including under Utah offensive coordinator Troy Taylor in 2016.

“We are excited to welcome Kiel to our staff,” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said in a press release. “His experience working with Troy [Taylor] last year at Eastern Washington will be a great asset in helping us install the new offense.”

“I am very excited about the opportunity offered to me by Coach Whittingham to coach at the University of Utah,” said McDonald in a statement. “The program is rich in tradition, especially at the running back position. Year in and year out, Utah has great running backs. I am looking forward to working with Troy Taylor again and the rest of the Utah coaching staff in trying to win a Pac-12 Championship.”

Prior to McDonald arriving at EWU, the Eagles averaged 79 rush yards per game. Under his coaching, the amount grew to 123.1 in 2012, 183.7 average in 2013, and 185.2 in 2014.  In 2015, a trio of underclassmen running backs scored a combined ten touchdowns and averaged 4.9 yards per carry. In 2016, the Eagles averaged 4.1 yards per carry and 128.6 yards per game.

Before his fives seasons at Eastern Washington, McDonald was a graduate assistant of offensive quality control at Arizona State under former and recently retired Utah running backs coach Dennis Erickson in 2011. He also played under Erickson in his senior collegiate season in 2006 after graduating from Sacramento State. In 2010, McDonald served as an intern with the San Francisco 49ers, helping with the secondary, as well as coaching strength and conditioning and defensive backs for San Jose City College.

At running back, Utah will feature sophomore Zack Moss, senior Armand Shyne (recovering from a torn ACL vs. Arizona), senior Troy McCormick, and sophomore Devonta’e Henry-Cole.


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