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BYU football: Kalani Sitake officially named head coach

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The Cougar alumnus is coming back to Provo to lead the next era of BYU football.

BYU athletics

Tom Holmoe unexpectedly took the mic in BYU's post-game press conference Saturday following the 35-28 loss to Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl.

There, he made official the reports that surfaced earlier in the morning: BYU had hired Kalani Sitake as its next football coach.

Sitake is a former BYU fullback who played in 1994 and 1997-2000. He worked as Oregon State's defensive coordinator in 2015 after nine years as an assistant at Utah.

At Utah, Sitake coached linebackers from 2005-2008, became defensive coordinator in 2009, and picked up the title of assistant head coach in 2012.

He replaces Bronco Mendenhall, who coached the Cougars for 11 seasons from 2005-2015.

An official press release was simultaneously sent to media and published to BYU's website.

"We are excited to announce Kalani Sitake as our new head football coach and welcome back one of our own," Holmoe said in the statement. "He is an outstanding leader and coach, an exceptional recruiter and knows BYU through and through. We look forward to having Kalani build on the great tradition of BYU football."

"I'm honored, excited and humbled by the opportunity to lead the BYU football program," Sitake said in the release. "I'm grateful for everything BYU gave me as a player. It's a dream come true for me to return home. I love the university and what it stands for and I'm looking forward to helping the young men in the program reach their goals athletically, academically and spiritually. I want to thank Tom Holmoe, President Worthen and the administration for their faith and trust. I'm excited to get to work and continue the incredible legacy of BYU football."

Sitake will be formally introduced at a press conference Monday, Dec. 21, where Holmoe said there would be information discussed about assistant coaches.