FootballHiringMountain West

Bronco Mendenhall hired as head coach at New Mexico

New Mexico announced on Wednesday the hiring of Bronco Mendenhall as the Lobos’ new head football coach. Mendenhall was most recently the head coach at Virginia (2016-21) and BYU (2005-15), but he spent five years earlier in his career running the defense at UNM (1998-2002).

“We are excited to welcome Bronco Mendenhall as our new head football coach,” said AD Eddie Nuñez. “Throughout this process, we were looking for not just a proven winner, but a leader of men that has a clear vision for what our program can be. Coach Mendenhall has twice taken over programs that were struggling, turning them into winning, championship programs. I look forward to having Bronco and Holly here and becoming assets for our great community and leading Lobo Football.”

Mendenhall went 99-43 in eleven years at BYU, the first six of which were when the program was a Mountain West rival of the Lobos. The Cougars won two league titles and won 10+ games five times during his tenure and went to a bowl game every single year (six wins).

After being courted by major programs for several years, he finally made the jump in 2016 to Charlottesville, where he initially rebuilt the program from 2-10 in his first year to three-straight bowl appearances and a 9-win season by year four.

“After 25 years, Holly and I are excited to be returning to Albuquerque where we have many fond memories,” Mendenhall said. “We welcome the challenge and opportunity of building a program of excellence. We are excited to get to know the players, assemble a world-class group of people, immerse ourselves in the community and truly make a difference at UNM.”

Before going to BYU to be the DC in 2003, Mendenhall spent five seasons as DC for the Lobos under head coach Rocky Long. That tenure included a build up from 4 wins in 1998 to 7 wins, a bowl appearance and 2nd place MWC finish in 2002.

The Lobos last went bowling in 2016 and have not won more than two MWC games in any season since then. The program parted ways with former head coach Danny Gonzales last month after four seasons (11-32 overall, 5-26 MWC).


credit to New Mexico Athletics for the image