This is an intriguing potential development.
With Gary Andersen abruptly and unexpectedly stepping down earlier this season, Oregon State finds itself on the hunt for a new head football coach. On the same day the Beavers fell to 1-10 on the lost season, a new name surfaced as a reported possibility: Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall.
At least, according to John Canzano of The Oregonian, who lists Mendenhall as a person of interest in the search. Canzano writes that Mendenhall “interviewed for the job in 2014 and was the runner-up when Andersen was hired,” then goes on to put him on OSU’s short list, along with Cal offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin.
Mendenhall, should he decide to jump ship, certainly has ties to that area of the country — and to the university.
Born in Utah, Mendenhall began his collegiate playing career at an in-state junior college before transferring to, you guessed it, OSU for his last two years of eligibility. He then began his coaching career with the Beavers as a graduate assistant and defensive line coach in 1989-90. He then returned to his alma mater in 1995 as line coach, spending the following season as defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach. Nearly a decade later, he became the head coach at BYU, spending 11 seasons with that program before abruptly leaving for the Virginia job after the 2015 season.
After going 99-43 with the Cougars, and after a 2-10 first season in Charlottesville, Mendenhall has the Cavaliers bowl-eligible for the first time since 2011.