SALT LAKE CITY—Colton Swan, a Weber State assistant for the past 15 years, is Utah's new linebacker coach, head coach Kyle Whittingham
Swan has served as Weber State's special teams coordinator and inside linebackers coach for the past two seasons and is in his fourth year overall coaching the special teams. He previously coached the safeties (2006-08), linebackers (2009-13) and tight ends (2014-16), and was the co-defensive coordinator from 2009-11. Including two seasons as a defensive graduate assistant from 2004-05, Swan was the longest tenured coach on the Wildcat staff, serving under five head coaches.
"Colton has done an outstanding job for many years at Weber State," said Whittingham. "He has a track record of success coaching several positions, most notably linebacker, as well as being an accomplished special teams coach. His demeanor and coaching style are a good fit for our program and we are excited to have him join our staff."
"I am thankful for the opportunity Coach Whittingham has given me and I am excited to be part of such a great program and great coaching staff," said Swan. "I can't wait to get to work. While Weber State has been home to me for 20 years and I can't say enough good things about the city, school, players and Coach Jay Hill, the opportunity to coach at Utah was one I just couldn't pass up."
Weber State won back-to-back Big Sky championships for the first time in school history in 2017-18 and made the FCS playoffs in each of the past three seasons—advancing to the quarterfinals in 2017 and 2018. The 2017 Wildcats won a school-record 11 games, including two FCS playoff games, and finished with a No. 5 national ranking. The 2018 team ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation—the best ranking in school history—and earned the No. 2 seed in the FCS Playoffs, finishing with a 10-3 record.
One of the best defensive teams in the country over the past two seasons, the Wildcats ranked in the top 10 in interceptions, turnovers gained and red zone defense in 2017, while leading the Big Sky Conference in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense, interceptions, pass efficiency defense, red zone defense and kickoff returns. This past season, the Wildcats led the Big Sky in scoring defense, rushing defense, total defense, kickoff returns and punt return defense among others.
Swan has coached eight All-Americans, including two-time selections LeGrand Toia (linebacker), Rashid Shaheed (kick returner) and Brady May (special teams). Other All-America honorees under Swan as either a position coach or a coordinator were safety Beau Hadley (2008), cornerback Josh Morris (2009), tight end Andrew Vollert (2016), kicker Trey Tuttle (2017) and punt returner Xequille Harry (2017). Tuttle was named a sophomore All-American in 2018. Swan's players also accumulated 15 first-team All-Big Sky honors during his time at the school.
In 2016, Swan helped lead Weber State to a 7-5 record, a third-place finish in the Big Sky Conference and WSU's first trip to the FCS Playoffs in seven years. The Wildcats were 10th in the nation in net punting and 12th in kickoff returns. In 2015, the Wildcats finished 6-5 for their first winning season in five years and led the Big Sky in kickoff coverage.
From 2009-11, Swan was the co-defensive coordinator and linebacker coach for former Utah head coach Ron McBride. He then spent two seasons coaching the linebackers and three years with the tight ends before moving back to the defensive side of the ball for the past two seasons.
Swan also had a successful playing career at Weber State and was a second-team All-Big Sky Conference linebacker as a senior in 2003 when he recorded 109 total tackles, three forced fumbles and an interception. He was honorable mention all-conference in 2002 when he led the Wildcats with 89 total tackles. The Jerome, Idaho, native initially came to Weber State on a rodeo scholarship, but walked on to the football team and was awarded a football scholarship the next year. He made the Big Sky Academic All-Conference team three seasons.
Swan, 38, earned a bachelor's degree in health promotion in 2004 and received a master's degree in education in 2006.