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Monday, December 08, 2008

Utah Utes football: Sitake to replace outgoing Andersen for Utes

It didn't take Utah coach Kyle Whittingham long to find a new defensive coordinator.

He didn't have to look far.

Just days after Gary Andersen accepted the head coaching job at Utah State, Whittingham promoted inside linebackers coach Kalani Sitake to the post.

"I believe it's the right decision," Whittingham said after making the announcement at Utah's BCS Selection Show gathering Sunday night at Rice-Eccles Stadium. "Kalani will do a great job for us."

Sitake's appointment is immediate, meaning Andersen will coach Utah's defensive line in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama while juggling his new duties at USU.

Whittingham said the Utes will hire a new defensive line coach soon, but he will not be involved in bowl preparations.

"We're going to do the same defense," said Sitake, who was offered the coordinator position on Friday after returning from a recruiting trip to Hawaii and Los Angeles.

Sitake praised Andersen and Whittingham for helping him prepare for his new responsibilities. He considers them both as mentors.

"It's a good position to be in," Sitake said of his new job. "But at the same time there's a lot of expectations."

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