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UVA’s Bronco Mendenhall focusing on ‘renewal’ to get through crazy, busy 2020

Bronco Mendenhall
Bronco Mendenhall. Photo courtesy UVA Athletics.

College football coaches normally get some time in the spring and summer to decompress. Bronco Mendenhall sounds like he’s running on fumes two-thirds of the way through this wild 2020.

“There wasn’t any vacation this year. Normally, you know, the coaches get some time off in July. This has been straight through since the Orange Bowl until now,” Mendenhall said on a video conference with reporters earlier this week.

UVA didn’t get a single spring practice in before the University scattered students and student-athletes to the winds.

That left Mendenhall and his staff to try to piece together a virtual framework to keep the team in contact, work out individualized conditioning programs and provide something in the way of football instruction.

The spring quickly became the summer, then rolled into training camp/

“The uncertainty and what normal plans look like is out the window. It’s a constant state of readiness. You have to adapt every single day. The energy expenditure, not necessarily just on the physical part, but the mental part, yeah, it feels different. And we haven’t even started the season yet,” Mendenhall said.

The coach has done his part to carve out some me time.

“I’ve just been working really hard on renewal, whenever possible,” Mendenhall said. “It stays dark a little bit later. I was out roping, got 15 steers in with my son, Raeder, last night before he goes off to compete, and that hour, yeah, buys me maybe a day’s worth of solace, and then I got to saddle up again.

“ I’m trying to find any way possible just to have renewal as part of my day. I’m sure others are doing the same thing. Whatever it is that that allows them to recharge. Without that, I don’t know how you know how you sustain it and keep going to be your best self for your team,” Mendenhall said.

Story by Chris Graham