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Utah’s John Pease retiring; coach Morgan Scalley is new defensive coordinator

Posted at 1:59 PM, Jan 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-05 00:20:34-05

SALT LAKE CITY - Utah defensive coordinator and defensive line coach John Pease has announced he is retiring after this season, according to the University of Utah.

The Ute defense ranked in the top three in the Pac-12 Conference in scoring defense, total defense, rushing defense and pass efficiency defense this season.

It marks the second Utah retirement for the 72-year-old Pease.

The former longtime NFL assistant also coached two seasons at Utah from 2009-10.

Replacing Pease as Utah’s defensive coordinator will be Morgan Scalley, who has coached the Ute safeties since 2008.

He was also Utah’s special teams’ coordinator in 2015 and the recruiting coordinator for the past seven seasons.

While Scalley will continue to coach the safeties, a new coach will be appointed to oversee the special teams and recruiting.

“We appreciate the passion, energy and coaching expertise that John Pease brought to our program on a daily basis,” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said. “While we completely understand his decision to retire, players and coaches alike are sorry to see him leave. Through the years, John has had a major impact on Utah football as a player, coach and longtime friend and advisor."

Whittingham didn’t look far to find Pease’s replacement.

Scalley, a second-team All-American and the Mountain West Conference co-Defensive Player of the Year as a senior safety on Utah’s 2004 Fiesta Bowl team, first joined the staff in 2006 as an administrative assistant.

After a year as a defensive graduate assistant in 2007, he was appointed a full-time assistant in 2008.

“Morgan has played an ever increasing role in our overall defensive scheming the past few seasons and is ready to take the reigns as the defensive coordinator,” Whittingham said. “He is bright, innovative and hard working.”

Scalley has received several citations as a recruiter from Rivals.com, which named him the country’s top “non-BCS” recruiter in 2010, and has coached two first-team all-conference safeties in Robert Johnson (2009) and Marcus Williams (2015).

A two-time first-team Academic All-American as a player, Scalley was the 2004 Anson Mount and MWC Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Utah with a 3.96 GPA and received an MBA from Utah in 2006.

Information provided by the University of Utah.