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Sitake At Disneyland: Basically Another ‘BYU Fan Fest’

Photo: Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo

PROVO, Utah – Rest and relaxation is something college football coaches don’t get much of with their families. During the season, it’s daily grind mode preparing for opponents.

Once the regular season is over, recruiting season ramps up, then spring practices, and spring evaluation periods, summer football camps, you get my drift.

These coaches are busy men. The rare opportunities that they get to travel and spend time with their family are precious.

That window of opportunity to get some rest and relaxation comes in the time after BYU Football Media Day and before the start of fall camp.

Usually, for BYU head coach Kalani Sitake, his idea of a vacation consists of something with a beach. This year, however, the beach wasn’t in play for Sitake’s family vacation.

“This year was a little different. We had kids with a lot of things going on. So all we could find was a three-day trip to Disney (Disneyland) and it might as well have been a Fan Fest because I saw a lot of BYU fans there,” said Sitake on the Cougar Tracks Podcast. “Also saw some Utah fans there.  It was a cool three days and it’s always fun when you get to hang out with the kids and spend some time with them. So I had a lot of fun.”

BYU fans gathered in Farmington on Thursday night for the BYU Fan Fest.Members of the BYU Football team were there along with BYU basketball head coach Mark Pope.

Posted by KSL Sports on Thursday, July 18, 2019

Any BYU fan reading this can relate to Sitake’s experience. If there’s one thing besides Cougar Football that BYU fans love, it’s Disneyland. I went there last January and saw a ton of fans in BYU shirts myself.

Sitake has always praised how strong and powerful the BYU fan base is saying in June of 2018 that Cougar fans are a “big-time Power 5 fan base” and cited them as a strength of the athletic department.

Both BYU and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns and operates the faith-based university, have loyal legions of fans that go to Disneyland at all times of the year.

Even a parody social media account on Twitter that acts as Disneyland Public Relations had some fun stats with how often Latter-day Saints are frequenting the happiest place on earth.

Even though Disneyland wasn’t actually a Fan Fest this past summer for BYU fans, the athletic department did put on two fan fests in Nashville, Tennessee this past May and one in Farmington in July.

With less time out of town this off-season, it gave Sitake the opportunity to be there for his players when they needed him.

“I was fortunate enough to be around a little bit more this summer and be around the players – not so much when I couldn’t be on, like on the field or in the weight room – just kind of mixing with them and hanging out with them as far as mixing with them in the locker room and being able to talk stories together,” Sitake said.

Listen to the entire Kalani Sitake interview on the Cougar Tracks Podcast powered by

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Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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