Kalani Sitake

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Kalani Sitake Mormon Coach

Kelaokalani Fifita Sitake is an American football coach, currently head coach at Brigham Young University. He played college football under legendary BYU coach LaVell Edwards.

Sitake was born on October 10, 1975, in Nuku’alofa, Tonga. His family left Tonga and settled in Laie, Hawaii, when Sitake was a child. He later graduated from high school in Kirkwood, Missouri. After he earned a bachelor’s degree in English from BYU in 2000 and signed a free agent contract with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2001, but retired due to an injury.

He became coach of defensive backs and special teams at Eastern Arizona University in 2001. He became graduate assistant-defense coach at BYU in 2002, then moved to Southern Utah University where he was first running backs and tight ends coach and then offensive line and tight ends coach. From 2005 to 2014 he coached at the University of Utah, serving as linebackers coach, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, and then was assistant head coach, defensive coordinator, and linebackers coach. During his time at Utah, he helped the Utes win seven of eight bowl games. He had served as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Oregon State for one season before being appointed head coach at BYU in December 2015. He is the first Tongan to become a collegiate football head coach.

Sitake finished his first coaching season 9–4, leading BYU to a 12th consecutive bowl game. The 2017 season was BYU's worst in 50 years, with a 4–9 finish. The following season was better with Zach Wilson leading the Cougars to win five of their seven final games.

After his fourth season, Sitake received a contract extension from athletic director Tom Holmoe through the 2023 season. After halting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BYU finished the 2020 season with an 11–1 record.[1]

The upcoming season is ultra-important for BYU, and not just because the Cougars will be playing their 100th season of college football. The program is still trying to find its footing in the Big 12, after winning just two league games last year.
It’s also a pivotal year for BYU head coach Kalani Sitake, who is a respectable 61-41 in his eight seasons at the helm, but has had two non-winning seasons and is facing another extremely difficult schedule in 2024.
In December 2021, Sitake signed what athletic director Tom Holmoe called an “unprecedented contract” that will take him through the 2027 season.[2]

Sitake is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served as a full-time missionary in Oakland, California. He and his wife, Timberly, are the parents of three children.