Oregon State defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake is expected to be BYU's new head coach barring unforeseen issues with his contract and the LDS Church according to sources.
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. 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.
Born in the Polynesian country of Tonga, Sitake hopscotched to Hawaii, San Francisco, Utah and finally the St. Louis area, where he attended Kirkwood High. This season is his first in his position at Oregon State after after 10 seasons at Utah, the last six of which were as defensive coordinator. He was also assistant head coach his last three seasons with the Utes.
The 40-year-old Sitake spent his first three seasons with Utah as linebackers coach. He was Southern Utah's offensive line and tight ends coach in 2004 and the program's running backs and tight ends coach in 2003.
Sitake was a graduate assistant at BYU in 2002 and got his start in coaching as defensive backs and special teams coordinator at Eastern Arizona in 2001. He replaces BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall, who took the same position at Virginia.
Mendenhall’s last game with the Cougars is later today against rival Utah (9–3) in the Las Vegas Bowl. He has a 99–42 record in his 11 seasons at BYU, including a 9-3 mark this season.