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UVA hires Bronco Mendenhall as head football coach

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The Virginia Cavaliers struggled recently under former head coach Mike London. The Virginia took an under-the-radar, home run swing with the hiring of BYU Cougars head coach Bronco Mendenhall.

Mendenhall comes to Charlottesville, Va. after spending the past 11-years at Brigham Young University. He became the Cavaliers 40th head coach and is 99-42 during his 11-years as the Cougars head coach.

That record is 12th-most in wins in all FBS schools during that time. Plus, he’s 13th in winning percentage with a .702 along all active head coaches, who have at least five-years of FBS experience.

“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,” Virginia Director of Athletics Craig 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.”

In the past two seasons under London, the Cavaliers were 9-17. The Cougars were 9-3 this season and 8-5 last season for a 17-8 record.

Mendenhall has won eight or more games with the Cougars since the 2011 season. His team went 7-6 during the 2010 season, which was his first below .500 record since going 6-6 during his rookie head coaching season in 2005.

Before Mendenhall took over the head coaching responsibilities, the Cougars were 14-21 under head coach Gary Crowton. He went 12-2 in 2011, before things started to fall off that lead to him being fired.

The Cougars have went to a bowl game in all 11-years that he’s been a head coach. They are one of just 11 FBS programs to do this, as they join the Alabama Crimson Tide, Boise State Broncos, Clemson Tigers, Florida State Seminoles, Georgia Bulldogs, LSU Tigers, Oklahoma Sooners, Oregon Ducks, Virginia Tech Hokies and the Wisconsin Badgers.

However, the Seminoles are the only team, who have more bowl wins with seven than the Cougars. BYU has six bowl wins during his 11-years.

“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.”

Mendenhall has signed a five-year deal with the Cavaliers. He’ll make $3.25 million this season as he looks to rebuild the Virginia team that hasn’t had a winning record since the team went 8-5 under London in 2011.

Under London, they were 27-46 in his six-year tenure. Mendenhall is hoping that he’s hoping that he could have a better record than London had during his next five-years guiding the Cavaliers.

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