Virginia hires BYU's Bronco Mendenhall as head coach

Dr. Saturday
KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 14: Bronco Mendenhall head coach of the Brigham Young Cougars reacts to replay on the scoreboard during a game against the Missouri Tigers in the fourth quarter at Arrowhead Stadium on November 14, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 14: Bronco Mendenhall head coach of the Brigham Young Cougars reacts to replay on the scoreboard during a game against the Missouri Tigers in the fourth quarter at Arrowhead Stadium on November 14, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Well this one came out of nowhere.

Virginia has hired BYU’s Bronco Mendenhall as its next head coach, the school announced Friday.

Mendenhall has been the head coach at BYU since 2005 and has amassed a 99-42 overall record, including five straight seasons with at least eight wins. Mendenhall led the Cougars to a bowl game in all 11 seasons with the program.

“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 athletic director Craig Littlepage said in a statement. “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.”

Virginia announced that it has agreed to a five-year agreement with Mendenhall that includes “an annual compensation starting at $3.25 million.”

“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 in a statement. “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.”

Before he takes over at Virginia, Mendenhall will stay with BYU to coach the team in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 19. 

Before he assumed the head coaching duties at BYU in 2005, Mendenhall served as the Cougars’ defensive coordinator for two seasons in 2003 and 2004. Before that, he had stints as a defensive assistant at New Mexico, Louisiana Tech, Oregon State, Northern Arizona, and Snow College.

As a player, Mendenhall, a defensive back, began his career at Snow College, a junior college in Utah, before playing his final two seasons at Oregon State.

BYU is also facing a limited candidate pool for its next head coach based off university policy that dictates a head coach be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Mendenhall replaces Mike London, who resigned following the Cavaliers’ season finale. London had a 27-46 record, including 14-34 in ACC play, in his six seasons leading the program.

The Cavaliers went 4-8 this season.

For more Virginia news, visit CavsCorner.com.

For more BYU news, visit CougarNation.com.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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