BYU has taken its time replacing Bronco Mendenhall, who’s now the head coach at Virginia, but according to recent reports, the Cougars may have found their man.
Thayer Evans is reporting that as long as there are no contractual issues between himself and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Oregon State defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake is expected to be BYU’s new head coach.
“It would be a return to BYU for Sitake, who was a fullback for the Cougars in 1994 before going on a two-year LDS Church mission and returning to play from 1997 through 2000,” Evans writes. “He was BYU’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 1998 as well as team captain and most valuable running back in 2000, the same year he graduated from the school.”
Obviously at a school centered around a religious ideology, having a coach who not only understands it but buys into it is extremely important for the overall cohesiveness of the program. Considering Sitake’s background as a player and coach with the Cougars, that appears to be the case.
Keep in mind that this is not a done deal yet, but Joe Shad of ESPN is reporting that the deal is close to being done, and Sitake is BYU’s top choice.
Kalani Sitake and BYU close but not done. But he is their choice.
— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) December 19, 2015
Sitake started his coaching career as a defensive backs/special teams coach at Eastern Arizona in 2001. The next year, he was a graduate assistant at BYU before moving on to Southern Utah, Utah and the Oregon State in the next few years.