With the official press conference to announce the hiring of former Cougar fullback Kalani Sitake as the new head coach for BYU Football, Cougar Nation now has a little bit of a feel of how things will go in the next era of BYU Cougars football. Not only did the press show up in full force, even Gordan Monson made an appearance, players and friends of Sitake made the trip to the event. Along with many former players such as Luke Staley, Reno Mahe, and Aaron Roderick showing up, the great Lavell Edwards himself took the time to show his support.
Unfortunate the highly anticipated announcing of assistant coaches didn't come to fruition but we did see a number of highlights come from the event.One of the first things that struck me was when Tom Holmoe informed everyone that Sitake and himself already see eye to eye, even after only a few days. He was immediately impressed with the way Sitake communicates and talks with the players. He also mentioned that he has seen Sitake already in communication with recruits and that recruiting is "His thing".
Some of the highlights from the opening statement by Kalani Sitake were as follows:
The feeling is "Overwhelming" and he is "Honored to be in this position."
Talking about the current players he said "We have a lot of good talented, driven players on the team"
He understands the importance of a great coaching staff as he has seen it as a player and as a coach.
He mentioned he is excited to "embrace the past that I know and the future".
He also mentioned that he is "proud to be a part of this family. I have never left. I have always bled blue"
During the press conference it seemed that the theme was not only his expertise in recruiting but that he was fired up to get moving on it. In fact he mentioned on a number of occasions that he was ready to start talking to the recruits and that the press conference was interfering with his time to do it. He mentioned the same thing when talking about putting together his staff. He wants that done as soon as possible and the time he was spending at the press conference was time he could be on the phone. If nothing else it shows that he is fired up and ready to get the ball rolling in all aspects of the program. When asked about his offensive plans he said the offense will be balanced as they run the ball and throw the ball. "We want to punt less on offense" and that the defense will be aggressive. Although that could mean that Jonny Linehan may be out of a job, I am sure he will still be beneficial to the team.
Just like Cougar Nation is excited to see him back in the fold he is excited to be back and getting to work. Sitake has a bunch of talent hat is being handed to him, and with the talent he can bring into Provo it will be interesting to see his teams for the next few years. One line that I am sure social media will be concerned about was when he was asked about the rivalry game next year. Similar to a Bronco Mendenhall quote he stated that he wasn't too focused on it yet because it was the second game of the season. Thankfully, for the sake of sensitive fans, he clarified that the rivalry is important and that "Streaks are made to be broken" when it came to the Cougars losing streak.
When it is all said and done the Cougars will be starting the season with a new coaching staff and will be looking to build off the current and past BYU legacy. They won't be doing it alone as Cougar Nation and the entire athletic department will be all to willing to help, whether Sitake and company need it or not.