Kalani Sitake Wants His BYU Program To ‘Rhyme’ With LaVell Era

Aug 21, 2019, 4:44 PM

Former players and former head coach LaVell Edwards pose for photos with new head coach Kalani Sita...

Former players and former head coach LaVell Edwards pose for photos with new head coach Kalani Sitake, following a press conference in Provo Monday, Dec. 21, 2015. Deseret News

PROVO, Utah – The BYU football team closed out fall camp on Wednesday with one final scrimmage at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

The man whose name graces the stadium, LaVell Edwards, was a mentor to current head coach Kalani Sitake.  Sitake wants Edwards’ legacy to be remembered and honored with his team today.

To do that Sitake had LaVell’s wife, Patti Edwards address the team on Wednesday.

“This morning we had a really cool thing, we were lucky to have Patti Edwards come to speak to the team,” Sitake said. “I’m feeling old because a lot of the guys weren’t even born when I was playing. Makes me feel old but that makes me think that I don’t know if they really know LaVell Edwards and who he is as a person.”

Sitake played for Edwards during the 1994 and 1997 thru 2000 seasons.  In Edwards final season as head coach in 2000, Sitake was one of the captains of that team.

Since Sitake became BYU’s head coach in December 2015, he has continued to have a close relationship with the Edwards family.

“Throughout camp, we’ve been really trying to have an emphasis on teaching them more about LaVell and the impact he had on College Football but also the person that he was, the father and husband that he was, and the mentor and coach he was,” said Sitake. “Having Patti this morning speak to the team was a really special treat for our players. They were just really excited to have her talk and she did an amazing job.”

Why is it important to Sitake that his players know the history of BYU football and LaVell Edwards?

“I played for the man and I love him and I think the more we talk about him and just to let them know what kind of person he was, the better we will be,” Sitake said.

Sitake’s first three years draw a lot of parallels to that of Edwards’s first three seasons as the BYU head coach from 1972-1974.  Like Sitake, Edwards had a losing season in his second year as head coach. Through three seasons, Sitake has 20 wins, Edwards had 19.  Cougar fans everywhere hope that Sitake can repeat the success that Edwards had once upon a time.

“We always talk about history repeating itself, but I think Mark Twain said that history doesn’t repeat itself it just rhymes, so hopefully we can rhyme and rhyme with what LaVell did here,” Sitake said.

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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Kalani Sitake Wants His BYU Program To ‘Rhyme’ With LaVell Era