Virginia football has gone through some changes in recent weeks. Bronco Mendenhall has been named the new head coach of the program and according to Talo Steves, who covers BYU for TotalBlueSporrts.com, the UVA program is going to see a few changes.
" [Mendehall] Demands the most out of his players, he demands the most from his staff, and he demands the most from himself first and foremost," said Steves. "He is a principled guy. He will hold his players accountable not only on the field but off the field. He is a guy that doesn't just want to create good football players, but wants them to become great men as well-good quality husbands, fathers, whatever it might be.
"He believes that there is more to life than just football, there is life after football."
Mendenhall is coming from a BYU program that he has helped turn around from a losing program to a team that has made 11 consecutive bowls. A good background to help a Virginia team who just finished its fourth straight losing season.
"He is a players coach. He will want to make sure he is involved with their lives away from football and makes sure their accountable for that. If their academics isn't right then they can't play.
"In the media setting he is calm, cool, and collected, but outside of that he is a personable person, he is a family guy," he added. "He is all about family. It will be about family in Virginia. It will be about getting the guys to believe in one another, getting these guys to believe in the system and to fight for one another and do all they can for each other, the coaches and the fans."
Mendenhall will also act as the defensive coordinator at Virginia, and Steves says the 'Hoos will see a very different approach, however, the message won't be complicated.
"He will call the entire defense, and he will run the defense," he said. "Guys will run through brick walls for this guy. He will create a culture over there and expect a lot of from his guys. He will definitely get guys to believe in his system and guys that don't believe in his system or doesn't put out effort or don't put their hearts out for them won't play. He will play the guys that want to be there and want to be part of the program. It's straight forward. Everything is cut and dry."
According to Steves, Mendenhall does not micromanage his team but picks assistants that understands his system. On the offensive side, coordinator Robert Anae is man that follows the same principles.
"Coach Anae is the drill sergeant type. He is not a man of words. He is very intelligent and he knows what he is doing. His offense is a wide open offense, and he had a true freshman quarterback throwing for over 3000 yards."
At BYU Mendenhall faced plenty of restrictions -no alcohol, academics etc. - however, at UVA the recruiting pool is much larger. According to Steves, with that in mind he can see this staff create a winning tradition.
"I wouldn't be surprised if Virginia isn't competing for an ACC Championship in a few years."