Ready to roll: BYU football staff members Mike Hall and Brandon Bradley excited for new opportunities
Both BYU head football coach Kalani Sitake and new director of player development Mike Hall knew the questions were coming when they participated in a teleconference on Monday about the expansion of the Cougar football staff.
After all, Hall is a former BYU star — but he starred on the basketball court (2003-05), not on the gridiron.
Sitake was ready with his response when he was asked about why he chose to ad Hall to his staff, saying, “He makes noon staff basketball basketball much more competitive.”
Hall had some fun later in the call when he was asked about who on the Cougar staff is good at hoops.
“My body is not set up like it used to be,” Hall said. “I think I’m about 50 pounds heavier. I think the expectation for me is a little high, so I’m a little nervous about that. But I would still pick myself first.”
While Hall may have switched to work with the staff of a different sport, he feels like his experience translates to any athletic arena.
“It’s a little foreign to me, since obviously I was just kind of a basketball guy when I was in athletics,” Hall said. “But I think at the end of the day, it’s about the players. This role is going to allow me to work with the players and help them navigate BYU, help them with the transition away from football. At the end of the day, it’s all the same stuff, whether it’s football or basketball.”
Sitake said he believes Hall’s personal experience will be valuable since it is different from what others have done.
“There are a lot of people who can come from so many different backgrounds and areas of leadership where it works with football,” Sitake said. “There’s a great correlation with leadership out in the professional world, whether it’s in academics or administration or other things that have a lot of connection to what we’re trying to do in this program. He’ll bring a lot of expertise, a lot of his unique background that will be very helpful but which is also very similar to some of the guys on our team.”
Somewhat on the opposite end of the scale is Brandon Bradley, BYU’s new director of campus experience.
Bradley joins Sitake’s staff after most recently working for the Cougars as an academic advisor in the Student-Athlete Life and Learning Center (2018-2022) but he has 10 years of working as a coach, advisor and administrator.
“I’m excited (about my new role),” Bradley said. “I’m a football guy through and through, so I have an opportunity to be back and build a relationship with some of the guys that I’ve I’ve been able to get to know the past few years. I will be down here with the players and continue to build my relationships with them. I’m looking forward to it. I’m happy to be back down here, and I think it’s going to be a great, great thing.”
Bradley said that in his role, he wants to continue to highlight things that have been done previously but also wants to add his perspective to it.
“I would really like to focus on the experience of the athlete, but even a little bit more of the family that’s involved in the process,” Bradley said. “I feel like every parent wants their kid to go somewhere where they feel like they would be taken care of and the experience would be great. I feel like it’s invaluable for us to be able to help the parents feel that and see that, while also helping the athlete to see that this is a place that they should be and that we have all the things in place for them to be successful.”
BYU’s new chief of staff, John Swift, said that both Hall and Bradley fit Sitake’s vision of getting the best guys on the staff.
“His vision has always been that we got to where we are as a program with the bodies that we had in the building, both on the coaching staff as well as on the support staff,” Swift said. “There was a lot of talent and a lot of hard work that was put in. To reward those people who got us to where we are at made the most sense. Then it was evaluating the talents of each individual and how they would fit in terms of the support staff we are trying to create.”
He used Jack Damuni as an example, as Damuni was promoted to the role of director of football relations.
“He’s an expert at making people in the community and on the outside program-facing feel loved and feel his excitement and energy, as well as the passion that Kalani with the program,” Swift said. “It made sense to have him stick with community relations, with alumni relations, with camps and with all the things that he would really be able to take that and run with it.”