Virginia's Mendenhall to step down after bowl game
"I would love to say there's been this build up and a long amount of epiphanies and thought," Mendenhall told reporters Thursday, via CBS Sports' Adam Silverstein. "But clearly this week, there's been a sense of clarity to me that I need to step back from college football and reassess, renew, reframe, and reinvent with my wife as a partner our future and the next chapter of our lives."
Mendenhall owns a 36-38 record across six seasons and led the Cavaliers to a division title and Orange Bowl appearance in 2019.
The 55-year-old arrived in Charlottesville in 2016 after a successful 11-year run at BYU. He inherited a program coming off four straight losing seasons under Mike London, who earned just one bowl bid in six years.
After a 2-10 debut, Mendenhall went 6-7 in 2017 and 8-5 in 2018 before peaking with a 9-5 record in 2019. He guided the Cavaliers to a 6-6 mark this season, ensuring their participation in bowl season for the fourth time in five years.
"I was requested to stay by our athletic director," Mendenhall said. "I was requested to stay by our president. It's my decision only."
With a 135-81 career record, Mendenhall has the eighth-highest winning percentage (.625) among current FBS head coaches.
Mendenhall left the door open for a return to the sidelines in the future, saying his departure from college football is "not permanent," according to Brett McMurphy of Action Network.