BYU announces Kalani Sitake as next head coach

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BYU welcomed former Oregon State defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake as their 13th head football coach.

BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe made the announcement in the locker room after the team fell to the Utes 35-28 at the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl.

Speculated new BYU head coach Kalani Sitake played full back for the Cougars in 1994 and from 1997 to 2000. He was defensive coordinator for Oregon State in 2015 and for the University of Utah from 2009 to 2014.

Sitake explained that he felt “honored” and grateful to except the position in a tweet.

Holmoe called Kalani an “outstanding leader and coach” and an “exceptional recruiter.” Many expressed their excitement from the announcement on Twitter.

Holmoe left to visit with Sitake, a a chief assistant to Beaver head coach Gary Andersen on Monday, Dec. 14, the same day Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo decided to stay at the academy.

The hire would fill Bronco Mendenhall’s vacated position after he accepted an offer as the head coach at the University of Virginia.

Kalani Sitake is the new head football coach for BYU. Sitake spent 10 years on the University of Utah coaching staff. (University of Utah Athletics)
Kalani Sitake is the new head football coach for BYU. Sitake spent 10 years on the University of Utah coaching staff. (University of Utah Athletics)

Although Sitake has yet to add “head coach” to his list of accolades, Sitake has plenty of experience. Sitake played as a full back at BYU in 1994 and from 1997-2000. Shortly after, he coached at the University of Utah from 2005-2014, becoming the Utes’ defensive coordinator in 2009 and assisting the Utes to a 7-1 bowl game record.

LaVell Edwards, who retired 16 years ago, marks the last time one of BYU’s own led the football program.

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