Bronco Mendenhall has been named the next head football coach at Virginia.
Mendenhall, 49, went 99-42 in 11 seasons as head coach at BYU, ranking 12th in total wins among FBS teams during that time. He led the Cougars to Mountain West championships in 2006 and 2007, went 6-4 in bowl games and was the 2006 MWC Coach of the Year.
He replaces Mike London, who went 27-46 in six seasons in Charlottesville.
Surprised? A little.
“Mendenhall is a guy whose name has been mentioned frequently for good jobs; he just never seemed interested,” Athlon Sports college football insider Braden Gall said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “So I think a lot of the national media, myself included, just kind of forgot about him. Not that he’s not still well-respected, but when you don’t take jobs that many people assume you have been offered to stay at BYU, you kind of just build a reputation of, ‘All right, I’m just going to be here.’ He’s been there 11 years. He’s done a pretty good job. He’s not an elite recruiter, but he’s a good talent-developer – and I think that fits really well at Virginia.”
Mendenhall, who will be introduced at a news conference Monday at 10 a.m. ET, is yet another quality hire for the ACC.
“The big winner right now in college football from the coaching-carousel standpoint is absolutely the ACC Coastal,” Gall said. “A big part of the ACC being clearly the worst of the Power 5 leagues (and) hurting North Carolina’s strength of schedule and hurting Clemson’s strength of schedule – it’s been coaching decisions. They need better coaches in the ACC.”
It appears they’ve gotten them.
“Justin Fuente at Virginia Tech, Mark Richt at Miami and now Bronco Mendenhall at Virginia – you could argue those are the three best coaching hires so far to date in all of college football,” Gall said. “That’s a huge coup for John Swofford and the ACC (and) upping the ante a little bit when it comes to sideline management. If thats’ the case, then the ACC could kind of creep back into this picture.”