Kalani Sitake Focused On Georgia Southern Amid Coaching Carousel Rumors

Nov 15, 2021, 2:51 PM | Updated: 3:02 pm
BYU Football - Kalani Sitake...
PROVO, UT - OCTOBER 9: Kalani Sitake head coach of the BYU Cougars reacts on the sideline during the final minutes of their upset loss to the Boise State Broncos October 9, 2021 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – BYU football head coach Kalani Sitake is at the center of coaching carousel rumors. The Washington job opened up over the weekend after the Huskies let go of Jimmy Lake.

College football insiders around the country list Kalani Sitake as a potential top candidate for the Huskies vacancy. Along with the Washington opening, Sitake has also been considered a potential target for the USC job.

On Monday, during his weekly press conference, Kalani Sitake was asked by KSL Sports where his interest is in those openings.

The sixth-year head coach at BYU kept the focus on this Saturday’s game against Georgia Southern (Saturday, 2 p.m., ESPN+ & KSL NewsRadio).

“I mean, I know why you guys are asking those questions and things like that. But I’m focused on getting our team ready for Georgia Southern. That’s been my focus the entire season,” said Sitake. “Whether you ask that question in August, September, October, and now November, the answer is still the same; I’m taking this thing week by week and focusing on getting these guys ready to play at their best. We have some changes in the lineups and with health issues, trying to get guys back. So all of my attention can only go to the boys and trying to give the fans what they want this weekend, which is performing at our best. I think if we do that, we’ll be happy with the result. But I understand why you ask the question, but that’s my focus.”

Kalani Sitake is in his sixth year at BYU

Before the season started, Sitake received a contract extension that keeps him at BYU through the 2025 season. Since that extension, BYU was then formally invited into the Big 12 Conference. Thus, giving the Cougars future acknowledgment that they are going to be a Power Five program.

KSL Sports followed up, asking if the Big 12 affiliation in the future makes the current BYU head coach position a job promotion or new job for Sitake.

“I think more than anything; it was just confirming what I already knew. That we have an amazing fan base and we’re a big-time program. Just confirm that with the invite to the Big 12. That doesn’t happen for some time. And so, my focus is just getting the team ready. That’s all I care about is getting the team ready for the season this week, and we’ll just keep it at that. I can’t control what happens a year from now or even two weeks from now. I can only control what happens today and our opponent this weekend. So, our entire focus is on Georgia Southern.”

BYU players shared similar sentiments on Monday as their head coach gets brought up as a potential candidate for coaching vacancies.

“Really during the season, you just focus on the season and what you can control. You don’t really try to focus on, ‘Oh, maybe this guy is going to leave or maybe the coach is going to leave.’ You just really focus and try to live in the moment and enjoy the season,” said BYU tight end Dallin Holker.

Sitake is 46-28 overall as head coach at BYU. BYU is ranked No. 14 in the College Football Playoff rankings, following up an 11-1 season a year ago that saw the Cougars finish No. 11 in the final AP Top 25.

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

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