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  Kalani Sitake
Kalani Sitake

Player Profile
Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers

6th Year

Alma Mater:
Brigham Young (2000)

Defensive Coordinator
6th Year

Coaching Experience
2005 - Utah

2009 -
Defensive Coordinator
2003-04 - Southern Utah
Offensive Line
Tight Ends
Running Backs
Tight Ends
2002 - Brigham Young
Graduate Assistant
2001 - Eastern Arizona
Defensive Backs
Special Teams Coordinator

Bowl Experience
2005 - Emerald Bowl
2006 - Armed Forces Bowl
2007 - Poinsettia Bowl
2008 (2009) - Sugar Bowl
2009 - Poinsettia Bowl

Kalani Sitake, in his second year as defensive coordinator, is in his sixth year as Utah's linebackers coach. With his promotion in December of 2008, Sitake (pronounced sih-TA-kay) became the first native Tongan named a defensive coordinator at an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision school.

In his first season as defensive coordinator, Sitake produced three first-team all-Mountain West Conference selections and four NFL draft picks. The 2010 Utes finished in the top 25 in the nation in pass efficiency defense (No. 9), opponent third down conversions (No. 9), pass defense (No. 16), total defense (No. 19) and scoring defense (No. 23).

Defenders Koa Misi, Robert Johnson and Stevenson Sylvester all won first-team all-league honors as seniors last year. Misi was selected in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft, while Johnson (Tennessee) and Sylvester (Pittsburgh) both went in the fifth round. R.J. Stanford (Carolina) was a seventh round draft pick.

Sylvester, who played all four years of his college career with Sitake as his position coach, led Utah in tackles last season and won all-conference honors twice (second-team in 2008). He was named the Defensive MVP of the 2009 Poinsettia Bowl.

A linebacker has led the Utes in tackles in three of Sitake's five years. Spencer Toone led the conference in tackles in 2005 and was named first-team all-MWC. He was drafted that spring by the Tennessee Titans.

Prior to joining the Ute staff, Sitake spent two seasons at Southern Utah from 2003-04. He coached the Thunderbird running backs and tight ends in 2003, and the offensive line and tight ends in 2004.

Sitake began his career at Eastern Arizona in 2001 as the defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator. He coached two junior college All-Americans that year, with cornerback Walt Williams making the first team and Donta Bright earning second-team All-America honors. In 2002, he went to Brigham Young as a defensive graduate assistant.

Recruiting Area
Hawaiian Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Los Angeles

Playing Career
Sitake started at fullback all four years of a Brigham Young career that spanned seven years. He played as a freshman in 1994, followed by an LDS Church mission. He returned for the 1997 season and started the first three games before undergoing back surgery and redshirting. He was a regular in the starting lineup in 1998, 1999 and 2000 - missing the last two games of 1999 after breaking his leg against Wyoming. His team awards included Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 1998, Impact Player of the Year in 1999, and team captain and Most Valuable Running Back in 2000. He went to the Cincinnati Bengals as a free agent in 2001, but was forced to retire due to a back injury.

Brigham Young, 2000 Bachelor of Arts in English

Personal Data
Hometown: Laie, Hawaii and Provo, Utah
Birthplace: Nukualofa, Tonga
Attended Kirkwood HS in St. Louis, Mo.
Birthdate: Oct. 10
Family: Married to the former Timberly Friddle. Daughters Skye and Sadie.

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