3. Kalani Sitake, BYU head coach
Wrestling a coach like Kalani Sitake away from his alma mater where he’s had a ton of success over the past couple of seasons wouldn’t be easy, but I think Oregon has the resources to do just that. Sitake might be happy with BYU after going 21-3 over the past two seasons, but Oregon has far more to offer, including a Power Five conference gig and improved recruiting pipelines.
Sitake is 48-28 as head coach of BYU which is impressive given the fact that the Cougars aren’t exactly a perennial powerhouse. If he can dominate at a school like BYU, imagine what he could do at Oregon. Plus, he’s shown he can beat Pac-12 teams as he did so numerous times in 2021.
When you talk about the typical riser in the coaching ranks, Sitake is just that. He started his career in coaching after his playing days in the NFL were cut short due to a back injury and was a defensive backs and special teams coach at Eastern Arizona before going back to BYU as a grad assistant. From there, he went to Southern Utah as an offensive assistant and then Utah as a defensive assistant for nine years, spent one year as defensive coordinator at Oregon State, and then was hired to replace Bronco Mendenhall at his alma mater.
Coaching at BYU after a successful career there has to be a dream come true for Sitake, but Oregon could come calling with a blank check. He’s a winner, a proven coach, he’s still just 46 years old, he knows how to beat Pac-12 teams, and he’s familiar with the territory.
This would be a home run.