October 10, 1975 |
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|2001||Eastern Arizona (DB/ST)|
|2003||Southern Utah (RB/TE)|
|2004||Southern Utah (OL/TE)|
|2015||Oregon State (AHC/DC)|
|Head coaching record|
Kelaokalani Fifita "Kalani" Sitake (born October 10, 1975) is an American football coach and former player. He has been the head football coach at Brigham Young University (BYU) since December 2015. Sitake is the first Tongan to become a collegiate football head coach. Sitake played college football as a fullback at BYU, under coach LaVell Edwards and graduated in 2000.
Sitake began his BYU playing career in 1994 prior to serving a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Oakland, California. After returning and redshirting in 1997, Sitake was a three-year starter at fullback for the Cougars from 1998–2000 under legendary BYU head coach LaVell Edwards. He was named BYU’s Football Scholar Athlete of the Year in 1998, helped the Cougars to the first Mountain West Conference championship in 1999, and earned BYU's Impact Player of the Year in 1999. In 2000, Sitake was named team captain and BYU's most valuable running back. He completed his career amassing 373 yards rushing on 86 carries (4.3 ypc), and 536 yards receiving on 62 receptions for one touchdown.
Following his collegiate career, Sitake signed a free agent contract with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2001, but was forced to retire due to an injury.
Sitake got his start as an assistant coach during the 2001 season when he worked as the defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator at Eastern Arizona College. In 2002, he returned to his alma mater, BYU, as a graduate assistant for the defense. From 2003 to 2004, he worked at Southern Utah University. During the 2003 season, he was the running backs and tight ends coach; he coached the offensive line and tight ends during the 2004 season.
His tenure at the University of Utah started in 2005, where he coached the linebackers, until being promoted to defensive coordinator on December 7, 2008. His formal duties began on January 3, 2009. Sitake became the first native Tongan named as a defensive coordinator at an NCAA FBS school, following the resignation of the previous defensive coordinator, Gary Andersen.
On December 23, 2014, Oregon State University announced Sitake's hiring as the team's new defensive coordinator and Assistant Head Coach. This reunited Sitake with Oregon State's head coach, Andersen, whom Sitake had previously worked with at Utah.
On September 3, 2016, Sitake's head coaching career began with BYU facing Arizona in the Cactus Kickoff in University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ. The Cougars won, 18–16. BYU then lost three games in a row to a 1–3 start. They then won four games in a row, including a road victory at Michigan State and a homecoming win against Mississippi State. Sitake eventually finished his first regular season 8–4, leading BYU to a 12th consecutive bowl game. The four losses were by a combined eight points.
Sitake is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After his freshman year at BYU in 1994, Sitake served an LDS mission in the California Oakland Mission. He has a bachelor's degree in English from BYU. He and his wife, Timberly, are the parents of three children.
Head coaching record
|BYU Cougars (NCAA Division I FBS independent) (2016–present)|
- "BYU Names Sitake new Head Coach". ESPN. Retrieved 2015-12-19.
- Mizell, Gina (December 19, 2015). "Kalani Sitake hired as BYU's head coach". The Oregonian. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
- Walker, Sean (December 19, 2015). "BYU names Sitake as 13th head football coach in program history". KSL. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
- "Kalani Sitake Bio". Official Website of Utah Athletics. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
- "Gary Andersen Names Assistants". OSU Athletics. Retrieved 2014-12-26.
- "BYU to name Oregon State DC Kalani Sitake new head coach". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2015-12-19.
- Salt Lake Tribune article on Sitake
- BYU athletics bio of Sitake
- University of Utah bio of Sitake