College football: Bronco Mendenhall to step down as Virginia's head coach

Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Virginia head football coach Bronco Mendenhall announced Thursday he is stepping down from his position after the Cavaliers' upcoming bowl game.

The 55-year-old Mendenhall told reporters it was solely his decision to leave the program.


"I would love to say there's been this buildup and a long amount of epiphanies and thought, but clearly this week there was a sense of clarity to me that I needed to step back from college football and reassess, renew, reframe and reinvent -- with my wife as a partner -- our future and the next chapter of our lives," he said.

"I was requested to stay by our athletic director. I was requested to stay by our president. It's my decision only."

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Mendenhall said he began thinking about his future Sunday and quickly decided that he needed to take a step back after 31 straight years in coaching, both as a head coach and an assistant. He reiterated multiple times that his decision isn't a retirement announcement.

"I don't know what's next. But if I didn't think the decision was necessary to add more value, then I wouldn't have done it," Mendenhall said. "So this isn't to break and pause and then become irrelevant. This is actually to break and pause to then become, hopefully, more impactful.


"So I'm excited about that. What is it going to look like? I don't know. There's no remorse. There's emotion."

Virginia has posted a 36-38 record in Mendenhall's six seasons at the school, including a 2019 ACC Coastal Division title and the team's first New Year's Six appearance in the Orange Bowl.

The Cavaliers ended the 2021 season with a 6-6 record, marking the fifth consecutive year that Virginia is eligible for a bowl game.

Before joining Virginia, Mendenhall spent 11 seasons at BYU, going 99-43 with 11 bowl appearances.

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In 17 years as a head coach, Mendenhall has compiled a 135-81 record, ranking eighth among current Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches in winning percentage (.625).

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