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BYU’s Sitake, Utah’s Kemoeatu Named Finalists For Polynesian Football Hall of Fame

Oct 21, 2021, 2:50 PM | Updated: 2:56 pm
Kalani Sitake - Chris Kemoeatu...
Head Coach Kalani Sitake of the BYU Cougars (Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images) and Offensive lineman Chris Kemoeatu #68 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame named BYU head coach Kalani Sitake and former Utah standout Chris Kemoeatu as finalists for its 2022 class.

The Hall of Fame named Sitake and Kemoeatu as two of eight finalists for the class of 2022.

Both Sitake and Kemoeatu are of Tongan ancestry.

In addition to Sitake and Kemoeatu, Tony Banks, Malcom Floyd, Mike Iupati, Tommy Kaulukukui, Vince Manuwai, and Harry Montague-Field were named as finalists for the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame.

“We commend our Selection Committee on once again putting together a fantastic group of potential inductees for the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022,”  Polynesian Football Hall of Fame selection committee chairman Jack Thompson said in a statement.

The eight finalists were selected from a group of over 100 nominees.

“Congratulations to each of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022 Finalists on this historic achievement,” said Jesse Sapolu, chairman and co-founder of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame. “Each finalist has had a tremendous football career and they represent the very best of our Polynesian people.”

Kalani Sitake

More than a decade before he was the coach of the Cougars, Sitake played in the backfield at BYU.

Sitake was a fullback in Provo from 1997-20.

During his college career, Sitake ran the ball 70 times for 261 yards. He also had 57 receptions for 491 yards and a touchdown.

After spending time as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator at multiple schools, Sitake was hired as BYU’s coach in 2015.

During his six seasons as BYU’s head coach, Sitake owns a record of 43-28, including 3-1 in bowl games.

Chris Kemoeatu

Kemoeatu joined the University of Utah football program as a defensive player before he switched to the offensive line.

As a senior in 2004, Kemoeatu was named an All-America player.

Following his time at Utah, Kemoeatu was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers during the sixth round of the 2005 NFL Draft.

Kemoeatu played for the Steelers from 2005-11.

During his time in Pittsburgh, Kemoeatu helped the Steelers win a pair of Super Bowl rings. Kemoeatu played 75 games in the NFL, including 53 starts.

Kemoeatu’s brother, Ma’ake, was inducted into the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame in 2018.

About the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame

The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame was created to honor “Polynesia’s greatest players, coaches, and contributors.” The Hall of Fame is located on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Its board members include former BYU and NFL players Vai Sikahema and Reno Mahe.

Inductees with ties to the state of Utah include Kurt Gouveia (BYU), Luther Elliss (Utah), Vai Sikahema (BYU), Ma’ake Kemoeatu (Utah),

The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame will reveal its 2022 inductees on November 4.

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