Curtice, however, is far from indigent. In addition to his substantial salary as head coach at Utah, he makes some 200 speeches a year at banquets, luncheon clubs, quarterback clubs and coaching clinics. He is an engaging, hilarious speaker.
"I've never written a speech in my life," he said the other day. "I just talk from my heart, and I got a big mouth, too. I just sort of dink around up there."
A recent Curtice week went something like this: Monday noon, a talk at the Salt Lake City quarterback club; Tuesday evening, ditto at a banquet for the University of Wisconsin in Madison; Wednesday, back to Salt Lake City for a weekly half-hour television show Curtice operates; Thursday, Las Vegas, New Mexico, for another banquet speech; Friday noon, a speech for a little league group in Philadelphia.
At the Salt Lake quarterback club luncheons, Curtice is very frank. In his first speech he told the members, "Win or lose, I'll be happy to meet with you every Monday. You can ask the questions, and if I don't know the answers I'll make some up."
He has been true to his pledge, both to appear and to make up the answers if he didn't know them. Two years ago, his Utes lost two games they should have won, then won one they should have lost.
"How come?" someone asked Jack at the Monday session.
"Well, gentlemen," Curtice began in the Kentucky drawl which gets broader on occasions like these, "that coach over in Colorado is a married man with a family. His team wasn't doing good and we saved his job for him. And the feller over in Wyoming is a married man, and he was on a spot following Bowden Wyatt in there. We saved that man's job, too."
Curtice stopped and peered delightedly at the audience. What about last week, someone asked. Utah had just beaten Colorado A&M after the Ags clinched the Skyline championship.
Save Pappy's job
"Well, sir," Curtice answered, "I said to my boys: 'You saved a man's job two weeks ago and you saved another man's job last week. Now go on out there and save one more man. This time save old Pappy Jack.' "