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Mendenhall: ‘Mixed feelings’ about run coming to an end with Fenway Bowl

bronco mendenhall
Bronco Mendenhall. Photo courtesy UVA Athletics.

If you were thinking that Bronco Mendenhall might be having second thoughts, no, he’s not.

Going over Virginia’s preparation for the Wasabi Fenway Bowl this week with reporters, you could hear it in his voice.

“I’m concerned, right, that teams don’t have the same head coach through their entire season, right, they don’t have possibly some of their most impactful players after a great season, right, that, that they don’t finish together. And so, I have a lot of mixed feelings about all of that,” Mendenhall said, sounding a lot like the guy who announced earlier this month that he would be stepping down after the bowl game.

Virginia’s opponent in the Fenway Bowl, SMU, is going through some of the same kind of internal issues. The Mustangs have an interim coach after Sonny Dykes stepped down to take the job at TCU following an 8-4 regular season.

How either team will look compared to the versions that played regular-season finales last month is anyone’s guess. In addition to the coaching staff upheaval, there are guys from both sides in the transfer portal, guys on the mend from various and sundry injuries.

They’re still going to play the game, of course, and for Mendenhall, it might be his last game as a coach, unless he has a change of heart down the line.

He’s trying to enjoy the process as much as he can with that in mind.

“Really, every day, to express gratitude for your existing team and coaches and try as hard as you can for them, that is the way I make sense of it,” Mendenhall said. “And focusing on yourself and your own execution is really about as good as you can do. And then you match up and adjust with whatever comes after that. And I think that’s probably the best scenario for most.

“I don’t know how many staffs are in a state of flux in college football of all the bowl games, but I bet that number would be more rather than less. And it’s becoming more typical than atypical,” Mendenhall said.

This is why he’s getting out, if you missed that from earlier.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press