Thoughts on Sitake

After a drama-filled week, BYU finally announced that Beavers defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake was the man to replace Bronco Mendenhall, who pulled the “Mike” Riley” of the coaching carasel season by taking the Virginia job. Rumor has it, that Sitake is taking OSU linebackers coach Ilaisa Tuiaki  with him to Provo.

Here’s some quick thought’s about Sitake’s depature.

  • “No Brainer” Situation. Those belittling Sitake’s decision to leave are delusional. This was an opportunity to return to his alma mater as its head coach at the age of 40 — and while BYU might not hold the prestige it used to, it’s still a pretty big program. This is likely his dream job. It’s not like Sitake is leaving for a rinky-dink school. If he can get them going, with their tradition and donor base, the Cougars could return to prominence pretty quick.
  • Did it have to be so soon? Hiring Sitake away from Utah was a major coup for Coach Andersen. Sitake is considered a rising star and his 2014 Utah team led the nation in sacks. You have to imagine then, that Andersen knew Sitake might not be at OSU long term. But it sucks it was one season. That’s hardly enough get situtated, much less get your players and system in place. I think most Beaver fans were hoping for three to five years.
  • An honest question. I might receive some backlash for this, but maybe Sitake isn’t all that he’s made out to be. I know the cupboard was apparently left “bare” and injuries did play a role this past season, but let’s not kid ourselves, the Beavers were downright awful at times, and that UCLA game, YUCK. Isn’t the mark of a great coach being able to adapt and make adjustments? As a result, I am not sure what to think of Sitake after the 2015 season…
  • Next up please. Sitake was being paid very well at OSU, so Andersen should think big with this hire, whether it’s Dave Aranda, Clancy Pendergrast, etc. While losing Sitake hurts, the Beavers should be able to land someone that’s just as exciting and well-regarded, and probably more experienced. What I don’t want to see happen is a quick promotion from within. That’s the kind of mindset that keeps the status quo, instead of trying to move forward.

So, what are your thoughts about Sitake? Who’s on your short list to replace him? Go Beavs! (RW)


3 thoughts on “Thoughts on Sitake

  1. OscarM

    Nobody expected the BYU job to open up so soon. Sitake had to seize the opportunity and good for him. Like you, I was having some doubts about his defense this season but I guess it doesn’t matter now. I hope he doesn’t poach too many recruits. Justin Wilcox seems an obvious candidate but I wish I knew more about what happened at USC.

  2. Building the Dam (@BuildingTheDam)

    I wouldn’t call it backlash, but rather some additional observations on your question about Sitake and adjustments. I agree that there were some disasters, the first half of the WSU game and the UCLA game among the most notable. But I would also note the second half adjustment against WSU, and observe that in the case of both the WSU & UCLA game, I could see what Sitake was trying, and why he might try it.

    He wasn’t alone in thinking that rushing 4 would occasionally get someone close to Luke Falk, but that failed because of the absolute absence of speed on the OSU D-line, especially at DE. OSU just hasn’t recruited the kind of edge rush speed, be it at the DE OR OLB spots necessary.

    Vs. UCLA, he tried cover 2 against Josh Rosen, in part because by that time especially, OSU had no one capable of playing single high safety, and then tried some risky but unexpected CB rushes and coverages, trying to surprise a true freshman QB. I don’t like cover-2 generally, especially at the college level, for reasons that were exposed in that game, but I understand the thought process. It turned out Rosen wasn’t really a freshman QB; the combination of a lack of speed and a lack of experience in the OSU D is precisely the situation Rosen will continue to dice up for years to come.

    Good coaching can only do so much with the material available, and the real key post Sitake are more coaches that can continue to recruit the level of player OSU has never been able to get in any quantity previously. I can go with a non-Polynesian connection DC (personally not a fan of Pendergrast, but Aranda would be great), but if that’s the case, and Tuiaki also goes, then OSU needs someone from that pipeline/coaching tree as one of the other hires.

  3. sistersbeav

    His leaving does not surprise me. He was not hugely effective nor was he very impactful. I don’t really care that he left. Move on, get things going.


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