New Football Support Staff Media Availability


BYU head coach Kalani Sitake named eight people on Monday to positions on his football support staff, including three current staff members taking on new roles.

Read more about the new staff hires.

Coach Sitake and several of the staff members in the newly announced positions spoke with the media regarding the news. Read some of their comments below. 

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake (Watch video)
"I’m very excited to announce these new family members on our staff. I’m excited about the opportunities we have to grow and work more efficiently as a football program with these new hires. It’s going to be very important to have them here with us, given all of their expertise and background. More importantly, it’s a huge opportunity for them to mentor the young men in our program. They’re joining a wonderful staff, and this is just the first part of what we need to get done with our support staff. We’re looking to add more positions. Previously our support staff was spread thin. They had to do a lot of busy work and were becoming jacks of all trades, but masters of none. This gives them an opportunity to master their craft and gives us the opportunity to expand and be very efficient as a program. We’re looking to bring more people on board, but this is a great foundation we can build on with our supporting staff."

"For me, this was about people; finding the right people to be connected with our players and those who would work well with our coaching staff, the fans, faculty and staff and students on campus. I’m proud of these new hires. These men have done a great job in their lives. I appreciate the people who they are in their family lives as well as what they can do professionally. That’s a huge reason why I think this is going to be very successful for us."

On timeline for additional hires
"I don’t know if we’ve mapped that out, but I want to hire as many people as possible. I will take as much help as we can get. I love being the head coach, but I can work a lot better when I have a bunch of bright minds in the building. It helps to collaborate with so many people, to get new ideas and be innovative with the culture we have already established. You can’t just say that you’ve established culture and then hope that it works out. You have to keep feeding it, and working on it and finding new ways to do things."

On promotions
"This helps us retain the talent we have on our staff. Whether on our coaching or support staff, it’s important that we keep the right people here. If we’re looking to build a program of success, stability is the key. Then it’s going to be key to promote, retain and show people how important they are to this program."

On Director of Player Development Mike Hall
"There’s a lot of people that could come from so many different backgrounds and areas of leadership that would work with football. He will brings a lot of expertise but also a unique background that is similar to those of the guys on our team."

On Director of Player Personnel Justin Anderson
"He’s been a coach before. He was a teammate of mine here. He knows what the BYU experience is all about. He also had the experience to see what it’s like from a Power Five level."

Jon Swift (Watch video)
Chief of Staff
On preparing for the Big 12
"As we had the announcement happen about the Big 12 in September, one of the first things Kalani and I did was get together and evaluate our current organization and how it compared to those we’re going to be competing against. We saw a big gap there, so we put our minds together and started drawing up what the appropriate organization should look like so we can be competitive moving forward into the Big 12. We’re seeing the support from Director of Athletics Tom Holmoe, BYU President Kevin Worthen and Advancement Vice President Keith Vorkink to put that vision into place. We’re very excited about those we’ve added to the staff and those we have moving into new roles. They have a lot of veteran experience both within a myriad of different roles in athletics, as well as outside athletics. That experience will prove valuable to furthering the culture that Kalani has built here and helping the program be successful in its transition to the Big 12."

On promoting from within
"Kalani’s vision has always been that we got where we are, in terms of the recent success of the program, with the bodies we had in the building on the coaching and support staff. It made the most sense to stick with the people who got us to the point where we’re at."

On Director of Football Relations Jack Damuni
"He’s an expert at making people in the community feel loved and feel his excitement, energy and passion. He’s a great host, so it made sense to have him stick with community and alumni relations, as well as camps."

Brandon Bradley (Watch video)
Director of Campus Experience
On taking on a new role
“I’m excited, I’m a football guy through and through, so having the opportunity to be back and build a relationship with some of the guys I’ve gotten to know over the past few years is great and I’m looking forward to it.”

On plans and goals for hosting official recruiting visits
“First I just want to start by looking at the things we have already been able to do really well here at BYU and then adding my touch to it. I would really love to focus more on the experience of the athlete of course, but even more so on the family. I feel like every parent wants their kid to go somewhere that will take care of them, and I feel like it is valuable for us to help the parents feel that and see that here at BYU.”

On the appeal of the job with BYU moving into the Big 12
“I’m a competitor, so the opportunity for me to come and be a part of this as BYU prepares to go into the BIG 12 made it very, very enticing to me. To be part of building that and making BYU a competitor nationally made it exciting for me and a no brainer to come and join the staff.” 

Mike Hall (Watch video)
Director of Player Development
On taking on a new role

“It is a little foreign to me being a basketball guy, but at the end of the day, it’s about the players. This role will allow me to work with the players, help them navigate BYU, and help them navigate the transition away from football after BYU.”

On the appeal of his new role
“I think the biggest reason for wanting to do it was the players. I think most of us around here have been athletes before, and going from an athlete to someone in the real world is difficult and I would have loved to have someone help me navigate that. I think this is a great opportunity for me to get back into athletics and I think I can be a valuable part of this support staff.”

On the appeal of the job with BYU moving into the Big 12
“Being able to compete against some of the best talent in the country in all sports and the competitive nature of it made it a no brainer for me as well.”

Billy Nixon (Watch video)
Director of Football Operations
“I feel very blessed and really excited because I don't think Kalani’s vision for player experience is changing at all. The goal for BYU football is to provide the best player experience in college football and we've made some great strides in that direction. I think being able to take a step into the role of football operations gives me a bigger platform to focus on the player experience.”

On bringing in Josh Hewitt for equipment
“I learned really quickly that equipment has a huge impact on player experience, satisfaction as well as on recruiting and retention. Filling this position wasn't taken lightly and we wanted to find someone that shares the same vision for player experience. I think we put together a great team and support staff to carry on Kalani’s vision and Josh is a critical piece in that.

I think that the equipment team just got better with the hire of Josh. I can honestly say that I believe Josh is among the best equipment managers in the nation and I'm confident that we're  going to be better than we were even yesterday, with him here in Cougar blue.”

On how new staff helps with the transition to the Big 12
"I think that we've had a great staff and that John has done a phenomenal job putting people in place even before this staff expansion. But now we're just going to be able to do more with more bodies. We’ll be able to take a step back, focus on our lane a little bit more and not wear as many hats. It's going to be nice to be able to take every aspect of the program a farther and get more innovative as we head into the Big 12.”

On who makes the call about what uniforms are worn
"Josh is well aware that part of the player experience at BYU is getting players involved in every aspect of the football program. Kalani’s vision for the program is to be player led, staff supported. It wasn't easy finding the right person for the job but Josh is going to incorporate the players in every decision."

"For the last two seasons, every uniform combo that we've worn has been selected by the leadership among the players. From the swag the players get, the uniform designs and every aspect of the program we try to incorporate the players decision making and give them the ability to lead out a with us being there to support them."

Josh Hewitt (Watch video)
Director of Equipment Operations
“I've spent the last five years in the Mountain West between two different schools: Fresno State and UNLV. I grew up in equipment, am a third-generation equipment manager so equipment runs in the blood. This is what I love to do, I’m just trying to enhance what he's already started here and just do whatever we can to make the player experience better.”

On why he chose to come to BYU
“I think it was the player experience, the family atmosphere and the vision that Kalani has for the program. I don't think you can find a better place to support the players, coaches, and staff in a way to make them better. And that's all we're going to do, is build on what Billy started and continue to enhance it any way we can.”

Justin Anderson (Watch video)
Director of Player Personnel
On his role at BYU in the era of NIL and the transfer portal

It’s a matter of balancing your roster, knowing who you have and having a plan of where you’re going and what you would like to accomplish. The transfer portal and NIL are here to stay. It’s a matter of finding who fits your program and the culture you’re trying to build. Ultimately, culture is very important for most programs.

On this era of college football
It’s changed a lot in the seven years since I was last at BYU. The growth of teams’ recruiting departments and the focus on recruiting and retaining players is now at a very high level. A lot of that is due to social media. Social media has created a new avenue to recruit and identify players. You have to be able to evolve, and as you evolve you grow and learn and try to stay ahead of the game.

On returning to BYU
It’s great to be back. I’m from here. I was born and raised in Orem. This is home. My family’s here. Things have changed at BYU. It’s exciting to see the growth of BYU. I played with Kalani, Coach Roderick and Coach Gilford. I was excited to come back and be around some amazing men and an amazing university that gave me a lot of great opportunities. It’s a place that I strongly believe in. It’s going to continue to grow and I’m excited to be a part of that growth.

On preparing BYU for the transition to the Big 12
Last year when I was at Virginia and we played BYU, I thought they looked great. BYU’s had success beating Power Five programs, so to me, BYU has a Power Five roster. You can’t beat those teams if you’re not competing talent-wise. BYU’s done a great job. I hope I can help grow, build and improve the program even more.

On managing the roster
It’s kind of like being a general manager. I will have to look at who we have coming in, what position groups do we need to recruit, that’s going to be something I will have to constantly focus on and balance. It’s very important to manage the roster by looking at both newcomers from high school and returned missionaries.

On the transfer portal
It should be about whatever’s best for the kids. You don’t want a program to be hurt, but you also want to give the kids opportunities. If a kid makes a good choice up front, then he doesn’t have to transfer later. So, I think we need to present a very clear message, an honest message. That creates a strong culture and then you don’t have to worry about the transfer portal very much because your guys want to stick around.