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With Mario Cristobal leaving Oregon for his old stomping grounds of Miami, the Ducks are reportedly targeting Kalani Sitake to be the school’s next head football coach.
According to the Deseret News’ Dick Harmon, Oregon is requesting to interview the BYU head coach. Harmon said it remains to be seen whether Sitake will interview for the head coaching vacancy.
Sitake, 46, took over as BYU head coach ahead of the 2016 season after Bronco Mendenhall departed for Virginia. In six seasons, Sitake has guided the Cougars to a 48-28 record, with back-to-back double digit win seasons in 2020 and 2021.
His best season came in the pandemic shortened 2020 season when BYU went 11-1, much attributed to the success of quarterback Zach Wilson. Wilson became one of the best quarterbacks in college football under Sitake and was drafted second overall in the 2021 NFL Draft by the Jets.
The season ended with a 49-23 rout of UCF in the RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl on Dec. 22, 2020 and a No. 11 ranking, the highest for the school since 1996. A 10-2 regular season in 2021 with a signature win over No. 11 Utah resulted in BYU accepting a bid into the Independence Bowl where they will play UAB on Dec. 18.
BYU extended Sitake’s contract to 2025 before the season on Aug. 31. A move to Oregon would be a significant leap for Sitake, however, he does have strong ties with BYU. Sitake played fullback under head coach LaVell Edwards from 1997-2000. He also had a brief stint with the program in 1994.
The other rumored name is UCLA head coach Chip Kelly. Kelly, 58, was Oregon’s head coach from 2009-2012, taking the Ducks to the BCS National Championship Game in the 2010 season. SportsLine.com’s Matt Severance reports that the Oregon job is Kelly’s to turn down.