Kalani Sitake, 40, was introduced as Brigham Young’s new football coach at a press conference Monday afternoon in Provo, Utah, that doubled as a homecoming party.
He lived in Laie, Hawaii and Provo, Utah as a child and played fullback for Hall of Fame coach LaVell Edwards. Family, friends, former players and Edwards packed the studio inside the BYU Broadcasting building to say welcome back.
Sitake is the first FBS head coach of Tongan descent.
Sitake talked about his love for BYU’s unique environment and how it developed him as a man, but did not get into the challenges of coaching an independent school.
Sitake declined to list priorities, simply saying he will demand excellence “in everything.”
“Recruits, get ready. I’m living proof. I played here. I lived this life. I met my beautiful wife here. I made great friends, brothers, for life here. This is a great place for you if you want to be part of that.”
Bronco Mendenhall is leaving BYU to coach Virginia.
Swinney is AP coach of the year
Clemson’s Dabo Swinney is the Associated Press college football coach of the year after leading the Tigers to an unbeaten regular season.
Swinney received 35 of 60 votes from the AP Top 25 media panel. Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz was second with 10. Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio and Houston’s Tom Herman each received five votes. Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops received three votes and Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly and Florida’s Jim McElwain each had one.
Behind Swinney, the Tigers (13-0) won the Atlantic Coast Conference and enter the College Football Playoff as the top seed. Clemson will face fourth-seeded Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl semifinal on Dec. 31.
Michigan has hired Boston College’s Don Brown to be its defensive coordinator. He replaces DJ Durkin, who recently became Maryland’s coach. ... Arizona announced that cornerbacks coach David Lockwood won’t be returning to the football program next season. Wildcats Coach Rich Rodriguez said football analyst Jahmile Addae has been promoted to replace Lockwood. ... Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley confirmed that he will make himself available for the NFL draft, in which he’s projected to be a top-10 pick. ...