"I'm excited for this day, Kalani, to be able to name a new football coach that has been a player in this program, that understands and knows BYU football," said Holmoe.
Being just 40 years old, Kalani Sitake is one of the youngest head coaches in college football. He makes his return home after being away for some time. He's rubbed shoulders with many outstanding coaches and is now the man selected to take over Bronco Mendenhall's vacated position."I've enjoyed my journey over the past 15 years and it's good be home," said Sitake.
"This is a leader right here," Holmoe said. "In talking with him, to listen to the way he communicates with players, is so exciting. In the short time since he's been named the head coach it's been fun to see him on the phone talking to recruits already. This is his thing."
One of the first things Sitake needs to do is hire a coaching staff. As a first time head coach, Sitake can't become complacent with his assistant coach hires.
"I've learned a lot of things along the way, and I've met a lot of great people," said Sitake. "I look forward to bringing my experiences over the past 15 years and establishing a program where these young men can thrive and experience a lot of things I had in my time."
Coach Sitake understands he must hire assistant coaches who can not only raise the level of play among their charges, but coaches that can also recruit well. Recruiting is the life blood of any program.
"I know the importance of a good coaching staff, being able to learn from great men like Lavell Edwards and his coaching staff, and being able to share that family atmosphere that we had when we played" said Sitake. "That's what I know, and that's what we plan to do here at BYU."
The type of program Sitake plans on developing will be one of balance, both offensively and defensively.
"We're going to be a balanced team," said Sitake. "We're going to run the ball and throw the ball and try not to punt as much. On defense we're going to be aggressive, and that's what we're going to hang our hat on. I can't go on any more than that. I know we need to establish a line of scrimmage and we need to own the trenches. That's what we're going to try to do as we piece together our identity, but we want to be balanced on offense and aggressive on defense."
Coach Sitake will head into this new era of BYU football will quite a lot of personal resources to draw from. Much like Bronco Mendenhall did, Kalani Sitake will be able to lean upon the shoulders of former BYU head coach LaVell Edwards as he learns the ropes. He'll also lean upon the expertise of Tom Holmoe as well. The two have already talked about some of the challenges that lie ahead.
"Some of the things that I've learned and we've already talked about this over the past couple of days," said Holmoe. "Kalani how are we going to address this? We would look at each other and start talking and having a conversation, and he's got great ideas and they're different. They're different than the ways we've done things in the past. We're just going to go to work. We've already started going to work and we're going to down that line. This is a new era of BYU football.
"This is a dawning of a new day with BYU football,” Holmoe continued. “Whenever you start with a new head coach things change. There are some things in this program that will remain the same. There are some things that he grew up on being a football fan, being a football player at BYU, being a graduate assistant, and coach. He's been in a lot of capacities here. Some of those things we'll bring back and have been a common thread from LaVell all the way through to Kalani. We're not going to throw everything out and start over. There is some richness in this program. We're going to keep that and add to it."
Now that Sitake is busy fielding a new staff and developing his program, BYU fans everywhere are excited to have a fresh new outlook for the future. One thing is certain. While Sitake has returned to BYU, to him he never left.
"I'm just proud to be a part of this family," Sitake said. "I never left. I've always been a part of BYU and have always bled blue.
Welcome home Kalani Sitake.