Mendenhall leaving BYU for Virginia after Vegas Bowl

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BYU Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall acknowledges fans as he walks off the field following an NCAA college football game against Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. BYU won 33-28. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall announced he is leaving BYU to become the head football coach at the University of Virginia. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Bronco Mendenhall is leaving BYU to become the head football coach at Virginia in 2016.

Mendenhall has agreed to a five-year contract to be the head coach of the Cavaliers. Compensation will start at $3.25 million annually, according to the University of Virginia’s official athletic site.

BYU Athletics Director Tom Holmoe said that Mendenhall will coach the Cougars in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 19.

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to work with Bronco as our head football coach,” Holmoe said in a press release.

“He has worked tirelessly on behalf of our student-athletes to give them the best possible collegiate experience, on and off the field. Bronco has been loyal through and through to BYU. I’m grateful for everything he’s done for the football program. He has a strong desire to complete this season and will coach our team at the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl. We wish Bronco, Holly and their family the very best as they move on to this new opportunity.

“We will begin a national search for the next BYU head football coach immediately.”

The University of Virginia has also published a statement on Mendenhall’s hiring.

“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.”

Mendenhall is also quoted in the Virginia press release.

“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,” Mendenhall said. “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.”

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