Oregon State Defensive Coordinator and former BYU fullback Kalani Sitake is about to become the Beavers' former Defensive Coordinator, and the new head coach of the Cougars, replacing Bronco Mendenhall, who departed to take the job at Virginia.
Sitake becomes the first alum that played under legendary BYU coach Lavell Edwards to be hired as the head coach in Provo, though its not a program that sees much turnover, or many losses for that matter.
Both Vanquish The Foe and the Salt Lake Desert News are reporting the hire will be announced shortly, probably is conjunction with today's Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl that pits BYU against arch-rival Utah. The announcement just before the Cougars run out would be a well-timed energy boost to a battle in the Holy War that needs little additional energy added.
It confirms what BTD has been hearing the last few days as well.
The real questions are who will be on Sitake's staff, and especially (for Beaver fans), who he might take with him. Various reports are that the media silence the last couple of days since Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo decided to not take the job have been because BYU and Sitake have been busy working out contract details and assembling a solid staff. LB coach Ilaisa Tuiaki is one current assistant likely to fit into Sitake's plan.
The move will clear the way for Oregon State Gary Andersen to announce his moves to fill the void, something Andersen has been working on the last couple of days as well.
It's pretty clear that Sitake was not going to leave Oregon State so soon for any other job, as there have been some other very high profile DC jobs and some head coaching jobs that would consider a coordinator, even one with no prior head coaching experience at any level, but BYU is a special case. Especially for a member of the LDS church, and an alum. Kind of like Mike Riley taking the Oregon State job, only maybe even more so.
Andersen could be placing a call to Wisconsin in his search, and no doubt Oregon native Justin Wilcox has had a conversation about it as well.There's bound to be others, and expect Andersen to announce some hires as well before Christmas, in order to keep the recruiting momentum that's reached unprecedented levels at Oregon State going. Sitake was arguably the most important component in that, and how Andersen is able to respond could be the defining move of his career in Corvallis.
We'll have more as the story continues to evolve.