Utah announces new offensive line coach

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SALT LAKE CITY—Jim Harding was announced as University of Utah’s new offensive line coach, Head Coach Kyle Whittingham announced Tuesday.

Harding replaced Dan Finn, Utah’s offensive line coach for the past two seasons.

“We’re excited to bring Jim Harding on board as our offensive line coach,” the head coach said. “Jim is a bright young coach with a solid background and an extensive knowledge of our offensive system.”

For the past five seasons, Harding was an assistant at the University of Wyoming under Dave Christensen, who was hired as Utah’s offensive coordinator in December, according to a press release from Utah’s athletic department.

Harding coached eight seasons with Christensen, first as an offensive graduate assistant at University of Missouri from 2002-04 when Christensen was the Mizzou offensive coordinator. Harding also played for Christensen at the University of Toledo, where he was a four-year starting offensive tackle from 1997-2000 when Christensen was the Utah offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, the release stated.

Harding participated in three bowl games as a college coach: the 2003 Independence Bowl with Missouri and the 2009 and 2011 New Mexico Bowl with Wyoming.

The Maumee, Ohio, native earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Toledo in May 2001, and achieved a master’s degree in career and technical education from Missouri in December 2004.

Harding was a starter for four years while attending Toledo.

Toledo won or shared three MAC divisional titles in the four seasons Harding played. The Rockets won the 1997 and 1998 MAC West Division and were co-champions of the MAC West in 2000, the release stated.

From 2005-08, Harding coached at Troy High School in Troy, Mich. He was the head coach and defensive coordinator his final season after first serving as the defensive coordinator, according to the press release.

Harding’s first four years at Wyoming, he shared the offensive line coaching duties was also the run game coordinator in 2012.

While coaching as Wyoming’s co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, the Cowboys finished 22nd in the nation in total offense, averaging 472.8 yards a game the release stated.

The Wyoming offense ranked second in the Mountain West Conference and 38th in the nation in passing offense in 2012, averaging 265.4 yards per game.

The 2011 Cowboy offense ranked 11th in the nation with fewest sacks allowed, with the line coached by Harding allowing only 12 sacks in 13 games.

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