UVa hires Mendenhall as next head coach

Bronco Mendenhall, the head coach at Brigham Young University for the last 11 years, is the new head football coach at the University of Virginia, director of athletics Craig Littlepage announced today, Friday, Dec. 4.

Mendenhall, Virginia’s 40th head football coach, has compiled an overall record of 99-42 in his 11 seasons as head coach at BYU to rank 12th in total wins among all FBS teams during that time. Mendenhall also ranks 13th in winning percentage (.702) among all active coaches with at least five years of FBS experience, and he ranks 10th among active coaches with at least 10 years of experience.

In the three seasons prior to Mendenhall becoming the head coach at BYU, the Cougars compiled an overall record of 14-21. Over the last 11 years, the Cougars are one of only 11 programs to advance to a bowl game each season (includes the 2015 season). BYU is joined by Alabama, Boise State, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin on that list.

Among those 11 teams, only Florida State has achieved more bowl wins (seven) than BYU’s six bowl game victories.

“Bronco Mendenhall’s teams have consistently won at a high level and he’s demonstrated the ability to create a strategic vision to build a program and then implement his plan to be successful,” Littlepage said. “His emphasis on the overall development of student athletes and a commitment to academic achievement is in line with our goals of Uncompromised Excellence. We’re excited to begin a new era of Virginia football and support Bronco and his staff.”

“I wish to express my appreciation to President Teresa Sullivan, Director of Athletics Craig Littlepage and Executive Associate Athletics Director Jon Oliver for their belief and trust in me to lead and guide the football program at the University of Virginia,” Mendenhall said. “Professionally and personally I seek to embrace the highest standards in college sports, on and off the field, and I love the high standards both academically and athletically at Virginia. I am excited to not only help provide the continual growth and development of the student athletes academically but also reestablish Virginia as a consistent winner with a fiercely competitive and winning product on the football field.

“BYU has played the pivotal role in my professional and personal life and I will be forever indebted to the outstanding young men and exceptional people I have had the opportunity to work with at BYU. My success at BYU was possible because these great people chose the phenomenal, unique and faith-based experience available at BYU.”

BYU football student-athletes have earned freshman All-America recognition in eight of the past 10 seasons. More than 60 BYU players have signed with NFL teams since Mendenhall arrived in Provo, including defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft and Kyle Van Noy, the No. 40 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Under Mendenhall, the Cougars tied for seventh among all FBS programs for the most Academic All-America citations over the last decade and BYU tops all FBS programs with the most selections (39) to the National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society (recognizing starters and significant contributors finishing their eligibility with a 3.2 GPA or better over their college career) since the program began in 2007.

Mendenhall played for two years at Snow College (Utah) before finishing his career as a starter at Oregon State during the 1986 and 1987 seasons. He played both linebacker and safety for the Beavers. Mendenhall began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Oregon State. He later coached at Snow College and Northern Arizona before he became the youngest defensive coordinator in the Pac-10 at Oregon State. Following his stint at his alma mater, he coached at Louisiana Tech and New Mexico before he joined the BYU staff as defensive coordinator in 2003. He was promoted to head coach in 2005.

The success of Mendenhall’s leadership approach in running the BYU football program has been highlighted in a management book, Running Into the Wind: Bronco Mendenhall – 5 Strategies for Building a Successful Team, written by Alyson Von Feldt and Paul Gustavson, a leading management consultant specializing in leadership development and organizational design.

Mendenhall was elected in 2013 to the American Football Coaches Association Board of Trustees as the District 8 Representative and also serves on the AFCA Ethics Committee.

Mendenhall and his wife, Holly, have three sons, Raeder, Breaker and Cutter.

The parties have reached an initial five-year agreement that will pay Mendenhall annual compensation starting at $3.25 million. Mendenhall’s compensation is the responsibility of the athletics department. The athletics department does not receive state funding.