When UVA athletic director Craig Littlepage was looking for a men's basketball coach in 2009, Littlepage went west and brought in Tony Bennett. Bennett was very much under the radar during the coaching search, but his success at Washington State was undeniable - Bennett recorded 69 wins in three seasons. Fast forward six years later, and Littlepage once again looked west for his new football coach. Last Monday Littlepage and UVA officially introduced Bronco Mendenhall as the Cavaliers new football coach.
A week later, Bennett gave his impression on the new hire.
"I thought [the press conference] was certainly impressive," said Bennett, "so well spoken and communicates beautifully and has a vision and a plan and you can’t argue with the success that he’s had."
Mendenhall recorded 99 wins during his 11 years at BYU, taking the Cougars to 11 consecutive bowl games.
“Of course, he’ll be welcomed into the Virginia Athletics family," added Bennett. "People try to do things right here. Looking at his track record, he cares about the student athlete and values academics and has won and has a plan.”
Bennett had a great relationship with former UVA Head Coach Mike London, however, he is looking forward to learning more about his new colleague.
Bennett said that he will miss Mike London and his staff at UVa, but he couldn’t help but be impressed with Mendenhall’s introductory press conference.
"You’re said to see Coach London and others go but as far as Coach Bronco coming in — Just listening to his press conference, I was so impressed with what he had to say and look forward certainly to getting to know him and support him in any way I can.”