U of U Athletics Director Mark Harlan pens open letter to Utes fans after Rose Bowl

Photo: U of U Athletics

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Jan. 4, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — University of Utah Athletics Director Mark Harlan has penned an open letter to Utes fans following the Rose Bowl Saturday.

The letter reads, in full:

It is difficult to fully express the tremendous feelings of pride and appreciation I feel for what we all experienced as a University of Utah family on New Year’s Day in Pasadena. When I reflect on all that went into earning the opportunity, the days of experiences in Pasadena, watching our young men compete on the hallowed Rose Bowl field, and seeing what it all meant to those who love the Utes, I am overcome with immense gratitude for your unwavering support of our student-athletes and coaches during a very difficult year. 

I want to once again acknowledge the incredibly consistent and transformational leadership of head coach Kyle Whittingham, who has demonstrated year-in and year-out that his values are our values, and those guiding principles keep us together when facing unimaginable — and tragic — challenges.

Despite adversity, Coach Whitt, along with his coaching staff, led us this fall to a Pac-12 championship and a Rose Bowl berth, and this group of young men with forever hold a place in our hearts — and in our history. 

Every step of the way, you were there to support our program. Your relentless passion, empathy and commitment to lifting up our team, exemplified the true meaning of being 22% better each day. From the electric atmosphere at Rice-Eccles Stadium and making the Moment of Loudness a tradition for the ages, to the complete takeover of Allegiant Stadium for the Pac-12 Championship Game and ultimately, your overwhelming presence at the Rose Bowl, you showed up and showed what it means to be a Utah Ute. By every measure, you made a significant statement that the University of Utah is truly special and we have an indomitable spirit and strength that will continue to lift our entire institution and our athletic programs to the loftiest heights. What the nation and the world witnessed on Saturday is something we already knew. There are no limits to heights to which we can ascend. 

As we enter the first full week of 2022, I want to thank you for your tremendous support, and encourage you to support all of our fantastic student-athletes in our programs that are continuing or just beginning their seasons. Your energy, your passion and your unrelenting energy lift all of our programs and make a tremendous difference. 

On behalf of Utah Athletics, I want to wish you and your family a healthy and happy 2022 and let’s make 2022 the best time ever to be a Utah Ute!

Sincerely, Mark Harlan.

For the latest on U of U Athletics program, click here.


  1. That’s a great way to express a positive feeling for the exciting event that took place on New Year’s Day. I was proud of the U of U football team and the coach. Sure a win would have been great but playing as well as they did was a pleasure to experience. Sportsmanship on both teams made the game special. THANK YOU coach and team!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here