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New Orleans Breakers Flashback: Kyle Whittingham

(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)


The New Orleans Breakers were a United States Football League franchise that played in the Louisiana Superdome for one season, in 1984. The Breakers began their USFL tenure in Boston, in 1983, but a stadium issue forced a move, allowing New Orleans real estate developer Joe Canizaro to buy the team, and move it to New Orleans for the 1984 season.

In 1984, the Breakers began the season 5-0, but went 3-10 the rest of the way, and missed the USFL playoffs.

New Orleans supported the team well, with the Breakers averaging 30,557 per game, but the USFL opted to move their schedule from the spring to the fall in 1986, and with the Saints in town, the franchise elected to move to Portland for the 1985 season.

All summer long, we’re looking back at former players for the New Orleans Breakers.

Today, linebacker Kyle Whittingham:

Born in San Luis Obispo, California, Whittingham played his college football for the BYU Cougars, from 1978-1981, where he earned first-team all-WAC and WAC Defensive Player of the Year honors in his senior season, while also being named the MVP of the 1981 Holiday Bowl.

Undrafted in the 1982 NFL Draft, Whittingham began his professional football career with the Denver Gold of the USFL in 1983, where he totaled 84 tackles, along with two interceptions, one sack, and three fumble recoveries.

In 1984, Whittingham joined the New Orleans Breakers, accumulating 20 tackles.

Whittingham concluded his professional football career playing in three games for the Los Angeles Rams’ replacement squad in 1987.

After his playing days came to and end, Whittingham has been a very successful college football coach.

The 54-year old Whittingham made stops as an assistant coach at Eastern Utah, Idaho St., and Utah, before taking over as head coach of the Utes in 2005.

In his nine years as head coach at Utah, Whittingham has compiled an overall record of 76-39, including a 7-1 bowl record, including a 31-17 Utah win over Alabama in the 2008 Sugar Bowl, the first-ever Sugar Bowl appearance for the Utes, in a year where Whittingham won the AFCA National Coach of the Year Award.

Below, watch Johnson, who wore # 54, and the Breakers, take on the Michigan Panthers, from week 12 of the 1984 USFL season, back on Sunday, May 13, 1984:


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