Indeed, these changes come at a time when the Cougars, who will embark on their third year as an independent this fall, are on the verge of facing perhaps their toughest schedule ever, with games at Virginia, Utah State, Houston, Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Nevada, and home contests against Texas, Utah, Middle Tennessee, Georgia Tech and Boise State.
"I think it's exciting, certainly challenging. But what I did know in assessing the program is I had to make changes for the program to achieve its goals and what was possible," Mendenhall said. "I've done the very best to my ability to put a staff together to do that. I've also done my best to improve our scheduling, to make that as difficult and intriguing as possible.
"At some point, it will all come together to continue to improve our program, which is already very strong and is already one of the nation's best and most consistent. That's the baseline. How much room is left? The goal is to squeeze any air out between where we are and the ceiling. That's the intent and motive of not only the scheduling, but the coaching changes."
Mendenhall added that he's working with a sense of urgency because he wants the program to reach its full potential in all areas — spiritually, academically and athletically. He wants to help produce young men with high character who serve in the work force, in communities and in the LDS Church.
But that's not all.
"I want to see the program absolutely dominant on the football field," Mendenhall said. "I've learned a lot in eight years and I've grown tremendously. I'm excited and optimistic for the continued growth and expansion of the program. I didn't make any of these changes for them to be on a short-term basis."
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