During the first breakout session of the 2011 BYU football media day, head coach Bronco Mendenhall announced his intentions to lead the Cougars into independence with a three-year contract extension.
“I have extended my contract for three more years,” Mendenhall said. “I am absolutely satisfied with my job here and I have been treated more than fairly. I am very realistic and there is a lot on the line going independent, so I want to ensure that I am worthy of my position. I want to give everything I have for those three years and lead the charge through independence.”
In his six years at the helm of BYU, Mendenhall has led the Cougars to six bowl games and a 56-21 (.727) record. His winning percentage is the seventh best among current FBS head coaches with at least five years experience.
“Tom (Holmoe) wanted to announce this extension but I didn’t want it to be another story,” Mendenhall said. “I get enough attention just being the BYU football coach.”
BYU will begin its first season as an FBS Independent with an opening game at Mississippi. The schedule has been a strain to put together and the benefits of going independent are not without risks.
“I am invigorated at the chance to keep the program moving forward and I am anxious to be the coach to take this move on,” Mendenhall said. “There is a huge amount of risk in going independent but it’s also a great opportunity for the program.”
In four of his six seasons, Mendenhall has led the BYU to double-digit wins. The Cougars began 2010 with a 1-4 start before finishing 6-2 in the final eight games, including a 52-24 New Mexico Bowl victory against UTEP.
“I am hoping I am the coach that can navigate us to independence successfully but this move is way bigger than the head coach,” Mendenhall said. “This is about BYU football, which has a tradition unlike any other. I am ready to help this team prove our worth at the national level.”
Keep up with BYU football media day on byucougars.com for the remainder of the day. Online interactive chats will begin at 11:00 am MT and will continue until 12:00 pm. The Legends Show, featuring a variety of past BYU players, will begin at 1:00 pm.