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Kalani Sitake Mentioned as Potential Candidate for USC Head Coach

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NCAA Football: Southern California at Brigham Young Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

USC fired head coach Clay Helton earlier this week after a beatdown to Stanford in the Coliseum. USC is one of the most prestigious jobs in the country and is the best job west of Texas. USC is expected to pursue some big names, but one name mentioned is BYU head coach Kalani Sitake.

Bruce Feldman of The Athletic wrote a piece breaking down some of the candidates to keep an eye on and has Kalani as one of six names in an article he first published on Monday.

Here’s what Feldman said regarding Sitake.

One other intriguing name among the sitting head coaches a Pac-12 source mentioned who I thought could make some sense is BYU’s Sitake. The 45-year-old knows the league well from his days as an assistant at Utah and Oregon State. He has lots of recruiting ties on the West Coast and in Hawaii. His program is coming off a sensational 2020 season during which the Cougars went 11-1 and finished No. 11 in the country, and now the Cougars are off to a 2-0 start with wins over two Pac-12 schools (Arizona and No. 21 Utah). They face No. 19 ASU this weekend. If his team keeps winning, his stock will keep rising. His teams are physical, tough and smart. People in the business also love the guy. He comes across as extremely personable and likable. But he is coaching at his alma mater, and BYU is about to join the Big 12 and is in a much more favorable position in the sport than it was a month ago, so he might not be interested in leaving Provo.

Kalani likely won’t be at at the top of USC’s list, but he makes sense due to his recent success and potential to bring more Polynesian players to USC. The Trojans have a rich tradition of Polynesian players, and with Sitake at the helm they could become the premier destination for top Polynesian players.

We’re still very early in the process and I don’t think Kalani will ultimately go to USC, but it’s a story to keep an eye on as USC continues their head coaching search moving forward.