Former BYU Cougars head football coach Bronco Mendenhall shocked the college football world last winter when he abruptly resigned as head coach of the Virginia Cavaliers.
That was nearly eight months ago, and on Tuesday, ESPN published a lengthy piece by David M. Hale that detailed what led to Mendenhall’s unexpected decision, what he’s up to now and what the future may hold.
Here are some of the highlights from the piece:
- Mendenhall and his wife, Holly, have moved to Montana, where he rides horses, trains for half-Iron Man competitions and works some on deciding his next career move.
- “It’s just been breathtaking so far,” Mendenhall is quoted as saying. “Most of (the coaches) who’ve called me are saying, ‘Man, we think you’ve got this right.’”
- Mendenhall insists that changes in college football such as NIL and the transfer portal didn’t drive him away, and he’s very much open to the idea of returning to the sport.
- “I chose intentionally not to use the word retirement because I never viewed it as that,” Mendenhall is quoted as saying. “It was to reframe what and how we’re going to do it and why we’re going to do it and to make sure Holly and I were unified in doing it.”
- The story recounts how Mendenhall considered resigning as head coach at BYU just a few years into his tenure before Holly talked him out of it.
- Mendenhall said that he loves the platform being a college head coach gives to impact “young people,” which is what could draw him back into it at some point.
- “If you’re truly interested in developing young people, it’s hard to find a platform that is as impactful as college athletics,” Mendenhall is quoted as saying. “And granted, that landscape is changing — and changing rapidly. ... As a head coach, the decisions you make to construct the culture and the values of your program can still resonate in a way that’s truly authentic and real.”