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Sitake’s positive approach has No. 19 BYU on the rise

There was a time when Kalani Sitake let guilt, shame and embarrassment get the best of him.

The former BYU player and current head coach made a conscious decision a few years back to be more positive, embrace the good things in life, turn adversity into an opportunity for growth.

The mindset shift changed Sitake’s life and the trajectory of his alma mater as the No. 19 Cougars prepare for a jump to the Big 12.

”I’d rather live a life of gratitude and appreciation and positivity because it’s a lot more fun,” Sitake said. ”I can run the team the same way. I think it works. And I think it’s refreshing and helps build team character.”

Sitake was a three-year starter at fullback under coach LaVell Edwards and went into coaching after a potential professional career was derailed by injury. After 15 years as an assistant, including a stint as Oregon State’s defensive coordinator, Sitake got the opportunity to coach his alma mater in 2016 after Bronco Mendenhall left for Virginia.

Sitake took over a program that was in solid shape, making 11 straight bowl appearances. The Cougars kept the streak alive in Sitake’s first season, but went 4-9 his second season as the affable coach tried to reshape the program in his image.

Sitake and the Cougars have been on the rise ever since.

BYU put itself in the College Football Playoff conversation by going 11-1 in the pandemic-affected 2020 season and went 10-3 last year. The Cougars opened this season with a win over South Florida and outlasted then-No. 9 Baylor 26-20 in double overtime on Sept. 10 for their first home win over a top-10 team since 1990.

BYU was down several key players due to injuries and lost 41-20 at No. 15 Oregon last weekend, but sits at No. 19 in the AP Top 25 heading into Saturday’s game against Wyoming.

”It’s the culture the coaches have set,” said BYU offensive…


Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/sitakes-positive-approach-no-19-213753920.html?src=rss

Author : The Associated Press

Publish date : 2022-09-20 21:37:53

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