BYU, Kalani Sitake Agree to 'Unprecedented' Contract Extension Through 2027

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVDecember 11, 2021

PROVO, UT -  SEPTEMBER 25 :  Kalani Sitake head coach of the BYU Cougars greets fans as he runs down the tunnel to the field for warmups before their game against South Florida Bulls September 25, 2021 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
Chris Gardner/Getty Images

BYU announced Friday it's signed head football coach Kalani Sitake to a contract extension through the 2027 season.

Financial terms of the agreement weren't released, but the school described the new deal as "unprecedented." Cougars athletic director Tom Holmoe praised Sitake in a statement:

"In recent days and weeks there has been a lot of movement among college football head coaches. Today, I'm thrilled to know that Kalani will continue to be our leader, coach and mentor going forward. In the past 50 years, BYU has had only four head football coaches. Consistency, creativity and culture have been our hallmarks. Kalani will continue to strengthen our football team culture and develop young leaders based on his emphasis of 'love and learning.' I'm grateful for Kalani and the Sitake family for their commitment to BYU."

Sitake, a former BYU fullback, returned to the program in 2016 when he accepted his first head coaching job. It followed 15 years as an assistant coach that included one season as a graduate assistant with the Cougars (2002), along with stops at Eastern Arizona, Southern Utah, Utah and Oregon State.

The 46-year-old Tonga native has compiled a 48-28 record across six seasons in Provo. The Cougars will wrap up their 2021 campaign Dec. 18 when they face off with UAB in the Independence Bowl after finishing 13th in the final College Football Playoff rankings.

BYU, an independent in football since 2011, is scheduled to join the Big 12 in 2023 to become a Power Five program. Sitake referenced the impending move in his statement after signing the extension:

"I am grateful for the confidence that Tom Holmoe, President [Kevin] Worthen and the administration continue to have in my role leading the BYU football program. As both a former player and a BYU fan, it is an honor to be the head coach at this great university. I am blessed to lead a football program full of tremendous young men, outstanding coaches and staff and the best fans in the world. We're all excited about the opportunities ahead as we prepare to enter the Big 12."

The extension comes after Sitake spoke with Oregon about its head coaching vacancy earlier this week, per ESPN's Adam Rittenberg.

It's the second new deal signed by the BYU coach this year. The program previously announced an agreement through 2025 in August.

The interest from Oregon combined with the Cougars' 10-2 record this season necessitated a second extension within a span of four months.

Sitake's deep roots in the program and the upcoming Power Five move gives BYU a chance to retain the coveted coach for the long haul despite what will likely be continued outside interest.

In the short term, a win over UAB later this month would move the Cougars to 4-1 in bowl games under Sitake.