Sitake Thankful To Administrators & Coaches For Contract Extension
PROVO, Utah – On Monday morning, BYU head football coach Kalani Sitake put the final touches on a contract extension that would keep him in Provo through the 2023 season.
One hour later, Sitake addressed the media at his weekly press conference and was asked his excitement level for having this extension now finalized.
“Excited to keep coaching and keep working,” said Sitake on his contract extension. “Just thankful first of all to our players and the hard work in the system in our program. Just thankful to the administration Tom Holmoe, President Worthen, for all their hard work and their belief in me. My coaches and the support staff – everyone that’s been involved with BYU – there’s so much gratitude coming from me. Just on behalf of me and my family, thank you.”
Two months ago, BYU started out the season 2-1 after a pair of victories over Tennessee and USC. Many fans and media members asked, is the time now to extend Kalani Sitake? BYU held off. The Cougars then lost their next three games dropping to 2-4 on the season.
Since that low-point of the 2019 campaign, BYU has reeled off four consecutive victories – their longest win streak since 2016 – and have clinched bowl eligibility with a 6-4 record.
Throughout the speculation as to whether the extension would come or not. Sitake kept his focus on his team and the tasks in front of them.
“I was focused on football. Tom (Holmoe) had asked me to just trust him in the whole process. My focus has been on trying to win games and trying to keep this team going and keep building the momentum. I think they allowed me the opportunity just to keep coaching and that’s all I’m thankful for,” said Sitake.
BYU Athletic Director Tom Holmoe said in January that he knew where Kalani stood on the extension and Sitake knew where Holmoe stood and that it was a non-issue. Holmoe delivered the extension that allows Sitake to be the head coach of BYU for the foreseeable future.
“We are pleased to announce a contract extension for Kalani,” said Holmoe. We believe in him and the direction of the program. Together we are committed to creating a bright future for BYU football.”
This past Saturday, Holmoe revealed a t-shirt that read, #EXTENDKALANI. Sitake wasn’t expecting to see that happen after the Cougars victory over Idaho State.
“It surprised me. It was cool. I liked the way he delivered it. It was a good moment. Our guys got the opportunity to dance again in the locker room. So whenever that happens, it’s a good sign for us and a good sign for the program and a lot of fun for the fans,” said Sitake on Holmoe’s t-shirt reveal.
Now with the extension behind them, all of the focus shifts towards the field. BYU has the opportunity to close out the season with a 9-4 record if they were to win their remaining regular-season games and Hawaii Bowl game against an opponent to be announced at a later date.
For Sitake, that’s all he can ask for. After about two minutes in his press conference fielding questions surrounding the extension, he just wanted to focus on football.
“I’ve probably spent enough time talking about it. We’ve got an opportunity to win a game this week and build on the momentum that we have,” Sitake said. “I’ve said this before, this program isn’t about one player. This press conference has gone on long enough talking about one coach. So it won’t be about a coach either. So we’re just going to continue focusing on the players and giving the fans what they want. Just really thankful for the fan base that we have.”
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com 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.