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Sitake one of eight finalists for Polynesian Football Hall of Fame

By Daily Herald - | Oct 21, 2021

Jaren Wilkey/BYU

BYU football coach Kalani Sitake celebrates on the field at LaVell Edwards Stadium after a 27-17 victory against Arizona State on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (BYU Courtesy Photo)

HONOLULU, HI – The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame announced today eight Finalists that will be on the ballot for induction into the Class of 2022.

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake, who is of Tongan ancestry, is one of the eight finalists. Sitake played fullback at BYU and graduated in 2000. He worked as an assistant coach at Eastern Arizona College in 2002 and had assistant stints at Southern Utah, the University of Utah and Oregon State. When Bronco Mendenhall left BYU to take the head coaching job at Virginia in December of 2015, Sitake was hired to replace him in Provo.

In six seasons at BYU, Sitake has posted a 43-28 record, including an 11-1 mark in 2020. This season, the Cougars are 4-2 heading into a road game at Washington State on Saturday.

The finalists were selected from a field of over 100 nominees by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee which includes former NFL Player and Inaugural Inductee Jack Thompson (Chairman), Coaches Ron McBride and Dick Vermeil, past NFL player and Inaugural Inductee Olin Kreutz, past NFLPA President and Inaugural Inductee Kevin Mawae, former NFL Player and Class of 2015 Inductee Ray Schoenke, ESPN Sportscaster Neil Everett, and NFL Network writer and commentator Steve Wyche.

“We commend our Selection Committee on once again putting together a fantastic group of potential inductees for the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022,” said Jack Thompson, Selection Committee Chairman.

The Selection Committee and all living Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Inductees will vote in the coming weeks to select the individuals who will be inducted as the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022.

The eight finalists include Sitake, former Hawaii coach Tommy Kaulukuki, former Michigan State quarterback Tony Banks, former Wyoming receiver Malcolm Floyd, former Idaho offensive lineman Mike Iupati, former Utah offensive lineman Chris Kemoeatu and former Hawaii offensive linemen Vince Manuwai and Harry Montague-Field.

The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame honors Polynesia’s greatest players, coaches, and contributors. Its permanent home is located at the Polynesian Cultural Center and was established in 2013 by Super Bowl Champions Jesse Sapolu and Ma’a Tanuvasa. Other board members include Troy Polamalu, June Jones and former BYU standouts Vai Sikahema and Reno Mahe.

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