Years at BYU
- Coach: 2016-present
- Player: 1994, 1997-00
- Brigham Young University (2000; B.A., English)
- Kirkwood HS (St. Louis, Mo.)
Years Overall Coaching
- BYU, Head Coach (2016-present)
- Oregon State, Assistant Head Coach & Defensive Coordinator (2015)
- Utah (2005-14)
- Assistant Head Coach, Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers (2012-14)
- Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers (2009-11)
- Linebackers (2005-08)
- Southern Utah (2003-04)
- Offensive Line, Tight Ends (2004)
- Running Backs, Tight Ends (2003)
- BYU, Graduate Assistant-Defense (2002)
- Eastern Arizona, Defensive Backs & Special Teams (2001)
Coaching Career Highlights
- In his eighth year at BYU and 23rd overall season as a coach in 2023, Sitake leads the program he once played for under legendary Hall of Fame coach LaVell Edwards.
- A former Cougar running back (1994, 1997-2000), Sitake is the 14th head coach in BYU history and just the fourth since 1972, when Edwards took over the program.
- Sitake is the first former player under LaVell Edwards to be named head coach at BYU.
- First FBS head football coach of Tongan descent.
- With a career record of 56-34, including a 29-9 resume over the past three seasons, Sitake leads his program from the ranks of FBS independents to membership in the Big 12 Conference in 2023.
- Achieved notable wins over Baylor, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Tennessee, USC, Utah, Arizona, Arizona State, Washington State and Boise State, among others.
- Boasts multiple triumphs over Big Ten programs (Wisconsin, Michigan State), SEC teams (Tennessee, Mississippi State), Pac-12 opponents (USC, Arizona, Arizona State, Utah, Washington State), and current and future Big 12 members (Baylor, Cincinnati, Houston, UCF).
- He has championed BYU’s Built4Life career development and NIL program. Built4Life is designed to support BYU student-athletes in developing critical life skills, facilitating professional development opportunities and connecting classroom learning directly to relevant employment opportunities.
- Sitake was named to an Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award Finalist and George Munger Collegiate Coach of the Year Award Semifinalist in back-to-back seasons in 2020 and 2021.
- Facing one of its toughest schedules ever, BYU went 6-1 against Power 5 conference opponents in 2021 to finish 10-3 overall and record back-to-back top-20 rankings for the first time since 2006 and 2007. BYU Athletics also formally received and accepted an invitation during the season to join the Power 5 ranks as a member of the Big 12 Conference, starting in 2023.
- After the 2021 regular season, BYU inked Sitake to a new contract running through the 2027 season.
- Defeated nationally ranked Utah and Arizona State as well as USC, Washington State, Arizona and Virginia while going 6-1 vs. Power 5 opponents in 2021, losing only to Big 12 Champion and final No. 5 ranked Baylor in Waco. Helped BYU earn a No. 10 ranking after a 5-0 start, including wins over rivals and eventual Pac-12 Champion Utah and Mountain West Champion Utah State.
- In 2020, was named an Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year finalist, George Munger Coach of the Year semifinalist and Bear Bryant Award candidate after leading BYU to 11-1 record and No. 11 final ranking in 2020, the program's highest final ranking since 1996.
- With an 11-1 record in 2020, Sitake’s team achieved only the sixth one-loss or undefeated season in BYU football history and the first since 1996 when quarterback Steve Sarkisian led BYU to a 14-1 record and No. 5 final ranking after winning the Cotton Bowl. BYU also recorded 11 wins for the first time since 2009 and only the 12th time overall in program history. In 2009, BYU finished ranked No. 12 in both final polls with an 11-1 record.
- The Cougars were ranked as high as No. 8 in 2020, a slot they maintained for four weeks, while winning their first nine games of the season. BYU's No. 8 ranking was the program's highest placement during a season since earning a No. 7 ranking by the AP in 2009 and being rated No. 7 by the coaches in 2008.
- Among the 11 wins in 2020, BYU defeated Boise State 51-17 in first triumph in Boise for BYU and dominated high-powered UCF 49-23 to win the RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl.
- BYU achieved top-10 rankings in 18 different statistical categories in the NCAA ratings in 2020. The only team to finished with a top-10 offense and defense, the Cougars finished No. 3 in scoring offense (43.5 ppg), No. 4 in scoring defense (15.3 ppg), No. 6 in total offense (522.2 ypg) and No. 10 in total defense (317.4 ypg).
- The Cougars saw six different players receiving All-America recognition in 2020 for their outstanding play, led by NCAA Consensus All-American left tackle Brady Christensen. Quarterback Zach Wilson, who finished No. 8 in the Heisman Trophy voting, receiver Dax Milne and kicker Jake Oldroyd also earned All-America honors, while running back Tyler Allgeier received All-America honorable mention and tight end Isaac Rex was named a Freshman All-American.
- Earned home victories over nationally ranked USC (No. 24) and Boise State (No. 14) in 2019 and a road victory over 8-win Tennessee in front of more than 90,000 fans in Neyland Stadium in BYU's first trip to Rocky Top
- Guided BYU to a road win over No. 6 Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium in 2018 to give the Cougars their first road win over a top-10 team since 1984 while ending the Badgers' 41-game non-conference home winning streak
- Were ranked as high as No. 20 in 2018 after starting the season 3-1 with a victories over Arizona in Tucson and No. 6 Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium.
- Helped his teams to 14 bowl games, including last year’s 24-23 New Mexico Bowl victory over SMU. Sitake has been on the winning side 11 times in bowl appearances, including a 4-2 mark as a head coach.
- In addition to defeating SMU in the New Mexico Bowl, Sitake's Cougars defeated Josh Allen-led Wyoming 24-21 in the 2016 Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego and dominated Western Michigan 49-18 in the 2019 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl before dropping a close 38-34 contest in the 2019 SoFi Hawai’i Bowl to a 10-win Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors’ team playing on the their home field. BYU dominated future Big 12 mate UCF, 49-23, to finish an 11-1 season in 2020 at the Boca Raton Bowl before suffering a 31-28 setback vs. UAB in the 2021 Independence Bowl to finish 10-3 and No. 19 in the nation.
- Led BYU to 9-4 record in first season as FBS head coach. Out of 19 first-year FBS head coaches hired in 2016, Sitake was one of only six to finish with a winning record.
- Helped mentor 29 NFL Draft picks, including nine Cougars since taking over the program in 2016.
- Last year’s draft saw running back Tyler Allgeier go to the Atlanta Falcons, where he was set a Falcon’s rushing record for a rookie with a 1,000-yard season. Allgeier followed the footsteps of other recent Cougar draft picks under Sitake.
- BYU had five players selected in the 2021 draft, highlighted by No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson. The talented quarterback Sitake recruited and saw develop in three seasons in his program into a top pick was selected by the New York Jets. Left tackle Brady Christensen went in the third round to the Carolina Panthers while receiver Dax Milne (Washington), defensive tackle Khyiris Tonga (Chicago) and defensive back Chris Wilcox (Tampa Bay) were each seventh-round selections.
- Other recent selections include BYU linebackers Sione Takitaki (2019 third round by the Cleveland Browns) and Fred Warner (2018 third round by the San Francisco 49ers) along with running back Jamaal Williams (2017 fourth round by the Green Bay Packers)
- Coached 12 all-league players (Pac-12 and Mountain West Conference) and three freshmen All-Americans at Utah while helping mentor 14 NFL Draft picks, including Morris Trophy winners Star Lotulelei (2011) and Nate Orchard (2014)
- Helped the Utes win seven of eight bowl games during his tenure
- Sitake was a three-year starter at fullback for the Cougars from 1998-2000 under legendary BYU head coach LaVell Edwards
- Named BYU’s Football Scholar Athlete of the Year in 1998
- Helped the Cougars to the first Mountain West Conference championship in 1999
- Earned BYU's Impact Player of the Year in 1999
- Team captain in 2000
- Team's most valuable running back in 2000
- Signed a free agent contract with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2001, but was forced to retire due to an injury
Laie, Hawai'i, and Provo, Utah
Served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Oakland, California
- Married to Timberly Friddle of Florida
- Has three daughters, Skye, Sadie, and Sylvia, and one son, Kelaokalani (KK)
- Born in Nuku’alofa, Tonga
- Younger brother T.J. played defensive end for BYU
- Older brother Tevita Pella was a defensive end for Utah
|KALANI SITAKE — BYU COACHING LEDGER|
|2016||9-4||Poinsettia Bowl, defeated Wyoming, 24-31|
|2018||7-6||Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, defeated Western Michigan, 49-18|
|2019||7-6||SoFi Hawai'i Bowl, lost at Hawai'i, 38-34|
|2020||11-1||RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl, defeated UCF 49-23|
|2021||10-3||Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl, lost to UAB, 31-28|
|2022||8-5||New Mexico Bowl, defeated SMU, 24-23|