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Photo gallery: BYU football finishes summer fireside trip in Orlando

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The BYU football team concluded its cross-country fireside trip Sunday evening in Orlando, Florida. Speakers included quarterback Tanner Mangum and head coach Kalani Sitake.

While addressing a congregation of an estimated 1,000 fans, Sitake expressed just how badly he wanted the BYU head coaching job after Bronco Mendenhall departed for the University of Virginia after the Las Vegas Bowl.

Sitake mentioned that he'd always been a BYU fan, but an encounter at age 6, shortly after his parents' divorce, with a BYU player locked him into his life-long fandom. He said the player, without knowing what was happening in the future coach's life, gave him an unexpected but endearing hug that has stuck with the Tongan native since.

After the fireside, Sitake expressed to the media how important Cougar nation is to him and the team. "We have support everywhere, and it's good to connect with the fans and for our guys to be able to share their testimonies and talk with everyone."

Sitake also expressed how important it is for him and his players to share their testimonies with others to show what the team really represents.

The Cougars will take a summer break until practices start back up again in the fall.

Contributing: Robert W. Grover

Nathan Harker is a sports writing intern currently enrolled at Brigham Young University majoring in broadcast journalism. Nathan can be reached at nathan.harker32@gmail.com or via Twitter @nharker3207.