University of Utah kicks off new athletics season with stadium celebration

Photo: University of Utah Athletics/YouTube

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 16, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Utes fans are invited to celebrate all 20 University of Utah programs as the 2022-23 college athletics season gets underway.

Coaches and student-athletes from U. sports programs will chat with Utes play-by-play announcer Bill Riley during “A Night at Rice-Eccles Stadium” from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday on the field and in the Ken Garff Red Zone at Rice-Eccles Stadium. The interviews will play on the video board at the stadium throughout the free event.

The celebration also will include self-guided tours of the Utes’ game-day locker room, highlight videos from the Utes’ successful 2021-22 athletics season, and a chance to take photos with various U. backgrounds. Game-worn Utah equipment and gear also will be available for purchase, according to a news release.

Parking at the event is free in the west lot of Rice-Eccles Stadium. Fans may enter the stadium through gates A and B on the southwest corner of the stadium, athletics officials said.

Utes football coach Kyle Whittingham is among coaches expected to attend the celebration. The Utes wrap up fall camp this week and open the season Sept. 3 at the University of Florida.

Utah, which won its first Pac-12 Conference title and earned a berth in the Rose Bowl last season, enters the game ranked No. 7 in The Associated Press’ preseason poll.

“We just go about our business and don’t pay much attention to that,” Whittingham said, referring to the national ranking. “We don’t pay any attention to it actually.”

The University of Utah football team was among four Utes programs to earn conference championships last season. Eight U. teams advanced to postseason play, including the skiing program, which won its 15th national championship.

Other athletics successes last season include:

  • The skiing team won the NCAA Championship, with Novie McCabe and Sophia Laukli sweeping the women’s individual Nordic national titles.
  • The gymnastics team placed third at the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive year after winning the Pac-12 regular-season and championship meet, as well as the NCAA Regional.
  • The women’s basketball team played in its first Pac-12 title game and earned an NCAA Tournament bid for the first time since 2011.
  • The women’s volleyball team qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the sixth consecutive year.
  • The men’s golf team qualified for the NCAA Championships for the first time since 1988 after placing fifth at the NCAA Regional.
  • The men’s tennis team earned a berth in the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2019 and won its first-round match over Ole Miss.
  • The women’s cross country team tied its second-highest finish at the NCAA Championship meet, finishing 20th, after a second-place team finish at the Pac-12 Championship.


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