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Jeff Benedict: The true story of how BYU came to hire football coach Bronco Mendenhall

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  • reasonableUTE Provo, UT
    Sept. 14, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    I didn't capitalize byu simply because i don't feel the need, and sometimes my comments get blocked because I put things in all caps.

    @duckhunter

    I had no problem with your comments, any of them. I was simply remarking that as a utah fan, I have no problem that he initially was headed to byu, until he went to the temple and came back a ute for life. The main reason I don't cheer for byu is because I was tired of certain byu fans (few and far between) that seem to think byu is the lord's university.

  • Blue Rampage Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 4:24 p.m.

    Nobody will ever confuse me with a ute fan. That's no secret. But...

    ...A teenage boy had leukemia and he was a ute fan. I made the call to Kyle's assistant and it took only minutes for the response, "Pick me up." That day we went to Primary Children's Hospital and Kyle was a class act, everything one could hope for. And that wasn't enough. He actually followed up, on his own.

    My own son was inactive in Church during his teen years. Kyle took the time to visit with him at home as part of his Church assignment to meet with all of the less active boys in the Stake.

    Everything I have ever seen from Kyle Whittingham and from his family makes me believe that he could have been a great head coach at BYU. Nonetheless, the stars aligned a different way and both schools got the best man for the job.

    I will never be a ute fan, but I will always admire Kyle Whittingham and his family.

  • DP742 American Fork, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 4:16 p.m.

    Whittingham is a good coach. He's a good fit at Utah. But I will say this. Even though I am a lifetime BYU fan (and have always loved to beat the Utes) I respected the McBride-led Utes more than the Whittingham-led Utes. Back in the day, the teams really really wanted to beat each other, but the level of mutual respect seemed higher than it is now. Whittingham's comments about *would BYU have played if we had gone into overtime and had to play on Sunday?* were not at the same level of class as McBride always showed.

  • FanofBYU American Fork, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 8:41 p.m.

    To all the posters claiming that Kyle Whittingham doesn't have the discipline to coach at BYU, please give it a rest. Kyle is a great coach. He would have had success at BYU just like Bronco. All one has to do is look at Utah's defenses over the years to realize that Kyle is very disciplined and that it rolled off on his defensive units.

    Bronco has been good for BYU. I will say however, that stating that Football is #5 has given me heartburn on multiple occasions. Players really like Bronco. The way he handled the recruitment of Kyle Van Noy is a great demonstration of his commitment to the young men in his program.

    Both coaches have proven to be very successful and they both have very good programs. We can be proud to have them coaching in our state.

  • Cougarista Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 4:49 p.m.

    REASONABLEute,
    Afraid to capitalize BYU during your little rant?

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    @reasonableUTE

    We all have our inferiority complexes I suppose, but I wasn't trying to get a dig in at all, just stated some facts I personally know. His brothers and mother absolutely wanted him to take the BYU job, they are all BYU alumni, grew up in Provo, played there, their dad coached and played there, it was a dream of his for that to happen, none of them had any real connection to Utah other than Kyle had coached there as an assistant for the previous 10 years, that is not a strong connection. But now that Kyle made his choice they are all 100% behind him and Utah and that is just the way it is but what occured is what occured and that is just the way it is as well.

  • reasonableUTE Provo, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    @ duckhunter

    Yeah, I don't know why it bugs Utah fans that he almost chose byu. Personally, I take it as validation (I'm a mormon cheering for Utah) that Kyle went to the temple and came back a Ute for life. It proves that God doesn't have a favorite football team as a few byu fans seem to believe.

  • Barnbug1 SPANISH FORK, UT
    Sept. 11, 2013 11:11 p.m.

    @ wwookie

    I'm pretty sure you are just trolling, but just in case your not......Your statement would make sense if most top recruits were LDS, but they're not. Most of the top recruits in the country would never consider BYU.

  • wwookie Payson, UT
    Sept. 11, 2013 5:32 p.m.

    Ygrad, still spinning?

    There are a few students who go to BYU for the environment or a specific academic program that aren't Mormon. But they aren't the Y's top football recruits.

    What is mind-boggling is the fact you feel threatened by having the Mormon angle work to your advantage in recruiting Mormon athletes. Do you feel inadequate in everything else other than your Mormonism? (E.g. We wouldn't be a school if we weren't Mormon.)

  • frugalfly PULLMAN, WA
    Sept. 11, 2013 5:30 p.m.

    Kyle Whittingham is an excellent coach and has done well at Utah. He is more classy than Urban Meyer and is less of a "gimmick" motivator. Meyer is very ambitious, egotistical, and he used Utah to get what he wanted. Kyle is a local guy with great abilities as a coach. I am a big BYU fan and I know Whittingham would have done great at BYU if that is what he would have chose. Bronco has really put his fingerprint on BYU. He has really taken a unique and wonderful role in this very very unique coaching position. I think he has been awesome. His signature leadership transcends football period. His loyalty to the mission of the school is the best BYU has ever had. He isn't perfect as a coach or human and neither is Kyle but I don't know how either school couldn't be more satisfied with their coach. Probably never has been a time when both schools had such high caliber, high quality coaches at the same time!

  • The Solution Las Cruces, NM
    Sept. 11, 2013 1:29 p.m.

    I am curious about Norm Chow and Lance Reynolds being passed up for Gary Crowton in the first place. Wish we had some insider info on that. Lance is a class act and he would have been much like LaVell Edwards in his style of coaching, allowing assistants to enjoy much freedom, while playing the part of a father figure for the players. I think he would've made a fine head coach at BYU.

    I still like Bronco.

  • The Solution Las Cruces, NM
    Sept. 11, 2013 1:13 p.m.

    I'm sure that KW could have been a fine coach at BYU. BYU would not have hired him without giving him the same charge of instilling discipline with emphasis on the honor code.

    The fact that KW chose to stick with the players he coached--being loyal to those he worked with over his alma mater--shows something of his character. I've never heard anything about demanding a 6 year deal, but if he did, that was in his best interest. Even LaVell is famous for once saying, "There are two types of coaches in this world: those that are fired, and those that are going to be." He has done great work for the UofU.

    A the same time, I'm grateful BM became the hc for BYU. He is strict and has implemented the mission of the school and Church very well. On top of that, he does not shy away from having the NC goal while not compromising standards to get there.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Sept. 11, 2013 12:26 p.m.

    wwookie
    Payson, UT

    Spin away, son. I thought BYU didn't get very good recruits anyway. Hmmm...

    Read a lot of articles lately about Christian non-Mormons choosing BYU because of the environment, but I guess you can extend the same Mormon-recruit argument to them, too.

    If BYU wasn't a Mormon school, it wouldn't be a school.

  • wwookie Payson, UT
    Sept. 11, 2013 11:27 a.m.

    Hawk, learn to read AND comprehend. The post says "some", and it is proven in every BYU story posted on the DNews that BYU's top recruits are because of the Mormon angle either directly or indirectly.

    By indirectly, that is referencing situations like Heaps going there because of religion and then convincing others to go because of him. Van noy and Harvey Unga went there because of the Mormon church.

    Twist away my son, but facts are still facts and if BYU were a state school, they wouldn't have very good recruits.

  • defibman Syracuse, UT
    Sept. 11, 2013 9:59 a.m.

    Thidder,

    "It has sure strengthened my testimony that BYU is the Lord's University."

    I am a die-hard BYU fan, but you are dead wrong! ! ! The Lord's University is the Temple. If you think otherwise, you need to get a life and figure out what everything is about. I love BYU, had all my kids graduate from there, but I went to other places along with my wife. Also, one daughter got her Master's from the U and if you think and compare BYU to "the Lords's University", then you have some issues that really need to be addressed.

  • Hawk Littleton, CO
    Sept. 11, 2013 7:21 a.m.

    HA! Good one, wwookie. "He ... is the beneficiary of the Mormon recruiting advantage that state schools don't have." Are you saying there are no LDS kids at Utah or USU?? Not to mention the fact that nationwide, LDS recruits probably make up less than 1% of all potential recruits -- leaving the VAST majority of the 99% who would NEVER consider a Mormon school. Yes, there are a lot of LDS kids who have grown up wanting to play for BYU, but in the big picture, you REALLY think that's a BYU recruiting advantage to be a Mormon school?!? Wow....

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 10:16 p.m.

    Loved the headline. After 8+ years of any announcements, rumors, fans comments, denials, etc. finally the "True story" is told!! (I would have thought anything the university said would have been "true" If there comments were true, how can this finally be considered the true story?) Even then, from the comments above, there were omissions and differing recollection of first hand participants.

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 9:49 p.m.

    @ wYo8: "Phone gate is another story"

    Why leave us hanging? Pray tell us about "Phone Gate".

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 9:44 p.m.

    @ Duckhunter (4:56 PM)

    Maybe it has something to do with his moniker (or handle) if you will. He apparently does not realize that first hand knowledge from the source itself, is "best evidence".

  • wwookie Payson, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 6:37 p.m.

    ... And thus saith all BYU fans - what we have is better than what utah has. (Note false argument that Kyle couldn't handle it, etc.)

    Sorry to be the adult in the room and ruin your party kids, but you would say that Bronco couldn't handle coaching the almighty cougars if he was the Utah coach and Kyle was at BYU.
    You were happy with crowton and you are happy with Bronco as long as you have winning seasons. Bronco is not the ideal moral leader that you want him to be. He is a good defensive coordinator and is the beneficiary of the Mormon recruiting advantage that state schools don't have.

    State schools have earned the recruits they get. BYU has had some drop in their laps.

  • wYo8 Rock Springs, WY
    Sept. 10, 2013 6:12 p.m.

    Just to remind people the Wyoming coach Glenn was at a pep rally when he said they would win. Who as a coach would tell a bunch of fans at a pep rally that he thought they would lose. As a BYU fan Kyle's response afterwards was priceless. I agree each team got the best coach. I was hoping that Kyle would of left uTAH for BYU. Just to see if it would of been to uTAH's demise. Phone gate is another story.

  • franc Kirkland, WA
    Sept. 10, 2013 6:10 p.m.

    @The Ghost ... while I don't agree the job should have necessarily gone to Reynolds I do wonder about Bronco. He is dedicated, etc but ... I'm sitting her wondering how they even got him to smile for the photo that accompanies this article.

  • nothegame Saratoga Springs, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 6:06 p.m.

    I have to agree, not a BM fan or a BYU fan but I think that BM is the right man for the job. He is a great defensive coach.Both schools got what they needed at the time.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 4:56 p.m.

    @reasonableute

    You better watch out, I told the exact same factual story about Kyle's brothers and 54iq tried to denigrate me and my knowledge of the matter. You can now consider yourself to be completely wrong by that particular utah "fan" despite the fact that you, like myself, personally know the Whittingham's and also heard it directly from them. For some reason that offends 54iq although for the life of me I cannot understand why.

  • The Ghost salem, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 4:21 p.m.

    Should have never hired the sanctimonious uninspiring "coach" the job should have gone to Lance "True Blue" Reynolds

  • oldschooler USA, TX
    Sept. 10, 2013 4:16 p.m.

    Just keep the rivalry alive and to the limit. Good for both teams.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 4:05 p.m.

    My BYU fan neighbor asked me after Kyle's first season if I thought Utah had hired the right coach. I told him I did, even though the Utes had struggled a little bit that year. After 2008, those kind of questions stopped. I think taking the job at the U has allowed Coach Witt to have more success and reach greater heights from a football standpoint than he could have reached at BYU. The direction of the two programs bears that out. While at the same time staying close to family and church. I think he's grateful for how things have turned out just as Bronco is grateful for his job.

  • BarkforSark PROVO, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 4:05 p.m.

    It's too bad it seems the luster has long faded. I remember when Bronco was hired and those first few years. The team played with a drive and motivation because it knew how bad things could get and it knew it was capable of so much more. "Quest for perfection" wasn't just some trite phrase to show arrogance, it was a true feeling of how good they thought they were. It seems like the last few years the program has stagnated. Not that there isn't a drive to be good, just not the same type of drive. Now it's "Quest just to not be embarrassing again." Hopefully the win vs. Texas will turn things around and they'll be able to see what they're capable of again. Although I still think they'll never really get back to how good they were until they get a quarterback who can actually throw. But that's another story.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 3:18 p.m.

    I'm happy for both men, and both men do a great job of teaching integrity and hard work.

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    Sept. 10, 2013 2:59 p.m.

    Ellington and ReasonableUte:

    Thanks for your insights.

    Both of these men are highly moral and spiritual men. I am grateful that Whitt is Utah's coach just as I am sure that most BYU fans are grateful for Bronco. For people like Chris B or Owl to try to denigrate the character of either coach is just wasted energy.

    Here's to a hard fought Holy War on the 21st!!

  • RepresentBlue West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 2:46 p.m.

    @reasonableUTE

    If what you say is true then it begs the question, why didn't the players show the same level of support for Reynolds that they showed for Bronco? Both were coaches on Crowton's staff. If Reynolds was the right man to take over as HC then why did all the players show up in Holmoe's office in support of Bronco? I am not detracting from Lance Reynolds as a person or as a coach. He is good man, a good father, and a good football coach. But the fact that he had the most tenure does not mean he was entitled to be the HC after Lavell retired, or Crowton was fired. As this article clearly states, the players, the AD, the school president, and the board of directors (General Authorities) all thought that Bronco was the right person for the job, and their decision has thus far been proven correct.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 2:26 p.m.

    You can all rest assured that given the fact that Kyle was offered the BYU job that he had already attended and passed his interview with a General Authority of the LDS Church. Anyone questioning his spirituality or commitment to the LDS Church do not know of what they speak.

  • tylert73 West Valley, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 1:48 p.m.

    When comparing Mendenhall to Whittingham, I have a little more respect for what Bronco had to do. Whittingham stepped in as coach of a national powerhouse that had just had tremendous success under Uran Meyer. Bronco took over a giant mess, and turned things around pretty quickly. No disrespect to Whittingham, but he had to maintain a standard that had already been set and maintained. Bronco had to reclaim a high standard that had been lost for years.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    What I like about Kyle is he knows when to be churchy and when not to be churchy.

    I am sure he sometimes gets churchy at church.

    And he knows when to leave his religion behind and coach football. I don't want him reading the bible to his players, I want him winning games.

    And by and large he does that.

    Couldn't be happier with Kyle as our coach!

  • Cougar Passion Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 1:34 p.m.

    @Osgrath: I didn't see anybody pronouncing judgment on either coach's spirituality, but perhaps rather personality or demeanor. The types of things for which Bronco takes heat--football being the fifth priority, for instance, or Tradition, Spirit, and Honor in place of last names--as shortcomings nevertheless fit BYU far better than do things like trying an onside kick when leading 43-0 because an opposing coach had the gall to guarantee a win against him. Bronco and Kyle have markedly different personalities. As several here have commented, I think both fit their respective schools well. There are a great many LDS coaches that, in my opinion, would not have fit BYU as well as Bronco does; Kyle simply happens to also be an FBS head coach, and coincidentally that of BYU's chief rival, so the comparisons naturally arise.

  • reasonableUTE Provo, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 1:00 p.m.

    I have heard this story first hand from both Kyle whittingham and Lance Reynolds. Kyle's brothers all were hoping that he coached for byu, and his initial thought was that he would. However, he took one last trip to the temple, came home, and informed his family that he had decided to stay with the Utes.

    As far as the BYU hire goes, Kyle was their number one choice... After him they initially offered the job to coach Reynolds, he accepted, and media people from byu were on their way to meet with him and film an interview with him when Reynolds and the media people were informed that they had changed their minds and were going with Bronco Mendenhall.

    The way byu treated Reynolds throughout his career was an absolute joke. He should have been hired instead of Crowton, he should have been hired instead of Bronco IMO (even though Bronco has done a pretty good job).

    At any rate, I'm glad that Utah got Whittingham, and I'm glad that Bronco has done his part in helping the Utes beat the cougs year after year.

  • Osgrath Provo, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 12:32 p.m.

    I really cannot see that the history of BYU football since the hire would have been significantly different with Whit or with Bronco. Both are capable coaches. Neither is completely comfortable dealing with the media, although each is improving at that (Bronco has even let a few witicisms slip out on occasion lately). Both are excellent defensive-game minds.

    Those that wish to declare that Whit would not have implemented the discipline that Bronco did are speaking from pure conjecture. It is entirely non-productive to try to compare the level of spirituality between two men - only God has the ability to do that. We can observe that both are LDS, live a LDS life style, and work well within the parameters set by each employer. If the two reversed roles, I'm sure both would be competent and fit into their environment very well.

  • sheriffcreg SANDY, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 11:19 a.m.

    Bronco was definitely the best coach BYU could have gotten. As a Utah fan, I am glad we got Whittingham. And I bet that most BYU fans are glad that Whittingham opted to stick with Utah. Not because they hate Whit (Although many BYU fans do), but because Bronco really does just fit the bill for BYU-coach.

    I know there are other high-profile guys that BYU fans drool over (e.g., Andy Reid), but Bronco was the best available option. And his results show. Unless I am mistaken, he has an even better record (percentage-wise) than Lavell.

  • OremUte Orem, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 11:19 a.m.

    I really believe both schools got the best coach for both schools. I don't think either coach would have done as well as they have at the opposite schools. Keep up the winning tradition both schools.

    Go Utes

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 11:06 a.m.

    Nice article. I've always let my BYU friends know how great of a job I think Bronco does considering all he has to deal with. I don't disagree with Lavell that BYU just may the toughest FBS football coaching job in the entire country.

  • Thidder MAPLETON, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    Thank you for a wonderful article. It has sure strengthened my testimony that BYU is the Lord's University. In my opinion, even the angels in heaven adjust their schedules to watch BYU sports. As long as Bronco represents the Church's values, he will be the coach regardless of whether they win another game. That is the way the Brothern would want it and that is what us true BYU fans should expect. Hip, hip, hooray for Bronco.

  • amagnetick AV, CA
    Sept. 10, 2013 10:21 a.m.

    ekute... it's not just players who think that, I do and I'm sure many others do also. I kind of feel sorry for those who put so much into these rivalry things, it seems like such a waste of energy and time.

  • Alterego Harrisville, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    so much speculation going on in these comments!-Feel free to cite sources for your claims

  • Hawk Littleton, CO
    Sept. 10, 2013 10:00 a.m.

    Yeah, StGtoSLC, with all due respect to Kyle (again, great coach, great man), he "grew up" at BYU in the era of McMahon (and others). It's a different era. After the issues under Crowton, it was an entirely new level of discipline and adherence required to the honor code. You must admit, it has a bearing on everything about the BYU program. Yes, Kyle very well could have implemented the mission of the institution throughout all aspects of the football program. But I'm happy for both schools for getting the man that is right for their program.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    Ellington,

    Thanks for responding! Do the players laugh at how crazy some us get about the rivalry? lol.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    The story is true, but incomplete. The night before Whit was to sign a contract with BYU, 30 players and U donors went to his house and pleaded with him to stay at Utah. They offered him $650,00 per and a 3 year contract, but he demanded a 6 year deal or he would go to BYU. They finally agreed and he signed with Utah.
    Absent from the story is Mendenhall's final interview with a church leader who only asked him about his personal beliefs and thoughts on integrity, not football. It was probably more influential in retaining Bronco than any other factor.
    Both universities hired the coach that was right for them.

  • 54-10 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 9:41 a.m.

    Duckhunter
    Highland, UT

    What did the Grandparents and aunts and uncles want Kyle to do?

    Please enlighten us more, oh wise one.

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    Sept. 10, 2013 9:34 a.m.

    Coach Mendenhall is an excellent football coach, and an outstanding fit for BYU.

    But, I hope he loses to the Utes in 2 weeks!

  • StGtoSLC SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 9:33 a.m.

    Also Hawk and Sounds right, I disagree with your outsider assessment of Kyle's discipline based only on what you read in the news.

  • StGtoSLC SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    Wishing for someone to lose their job just based on sports affiliation is a pretty senseless and classless move. Best of luck to both coaches.

  • StGtoSLC SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 9:28 a.m.

    Hawk, I respect Bronco a lot for the man he is as well. But having spent some time around Kyle, I disagree with your opinion on him. He's a man with a great deal of faith, but has to respect the separation of church and state with the institution he's in. He heavily encourages his players to attend institute or visit with the team chaplains, but that's not something he has the ability to really preach in his position. I'd encourage you to read the article Vai Sikahema wrote last year concerning Harvey Langi's decision to serve a mission stemming from conversations with Whit without Whit overstepping his bounds as a state school's football coach (if you knew Harvey at all going into his college career, a mission was one of the last things on his mind). Bottom line, I'm glad Kyle stuck with Utah, but I have no doubt (no disrespect to your brother) that he would have been just as great at the Y.

  • Ellington Bloomington, IN
    Sept. 10, 2013 9:14 a.m.

    @ ekute,

    Speaking from my perspective alone not the whole team (as others might have had other opinions), the coaching news was all happening so fast we weren't so certain what was an option and what was not. From my recollection, there was a lot of respect and admiration for Coach Wittingham (still is), yet we knew Bronco from personal, first hand interaction which is really what drove me to go with the others to recommend him. I just remember being so impressed with his intensity, focus, and ability to push the defense, something we felt the whole team could benefit from (which I believe it has). It does seem like it has worked out quite well for both schools!

  • Sounds right.. Cedar city, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 9:14 a.m.

    I am pretty sure bronco has a better winning percent than whit. I could not be happier BYU got him instead of whit. Whit does not have the discipline to run a program at byu

  • Salemite Salem, Ut
    Sept. 10, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    @ Chris B.

    Dude, give it a rest.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    I also think this worked out the way it should. Whittingham did accept the job initially and BYU was set to make the announcement. Kyle's family was split over it with his mother and brothers wanting him to take the BYU job and his kids wanting him to take the utah job. His late father Fred's dream was for Kyle to be the BYU head coach and if he had still been alive I don't think there is any question Kyle would have kept his original committment and become the BYU head coach.

    But things work out the way they are supposed to work out and Kyle reneged and stayed at utah. To me that was the right outcome although I think Kyle would have had some success at BYU I just think Bronco was the better guy in the long run.

  • Hawk Littleton, CO
    Sept. 10, 2013 9:03 a.m.

    So Chris, I forgive your ignorance -- mock the firesides all you want, but BYU fans who "get it" completely respect Bronco for immediately and fully buying into the mission of the institution. Bronco was the guy needed after the Crowton era -- based on utah's handling of discipline issues, Kyles MO wouldn't cut it. BYU's unique. Outsiders thought (think?) Bronco was crazy (clueless) when he stated that the honor code was an advantage, when he said that he could compete at a national level with BYU-type players, when he stresses to recruits that if they are not all in with the honor code then BYU is not the place for them, when he says "football is 5th", when he says that coaching football is NOT his life ambition, when he says that star ratings of recruits mean nothing to him (and he suspended a 4-star recruit befor he even joined the team), etc. But you know what? It works. Yeah, as Jim Rome says, "Bronco's a different kind of cat." And I have a WORLD of respect for the man because of it.

  • DavidMiller Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    Another year like last year and I could see Wittingham being in the hot seat come December but a 2-0 start having already avenged last year's loss to Utah State makes it see a bit premature to predict that outcome.

    Let's stick to the subject of the article - Bronco and his coaching of the Cougars - rather than turning this into yet another rivalry article (@ChrisB & @EdGrady).

  • Hawk Littleton, CO
    Sept. 10, 2013 8:51 a.m.

    Thanks for sharing this. I have a brother who played under Lavell and with Kyle Whittingham (hope you don't mind me sharing this, bro). I remember calling him the morning that the rumors came out that Whittingham had taken the job to say, "looks like we got our guy". I was shocked to hear my brother (who personally likes and respects Kyle) tell me that he was literally sick to his stomach about the news. Good guy, but wrong coach. With the honor code and off-the-field issues BYU was dealing with and after the show of support from the defensive players, and knowing that Bronco acheived great defenses by DISCIPLINE, by bro felt the Bronco was only choice at the time that could lead the program where it needed to be.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 8:44 a.m.

    Ellington,

    Great comment. No doubt, both Utah and BYU are pleased with who they hired, but as a Ute fan I would be interested on how the team felt about the possibility of Whittingham coming to BYU.

  • Alterego Harrisville, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 8:32 a.m.

    I'm not sure Whittingham would have been able to do what Bronco has done in terms of winning AND promoting the university's AND the church's mission. Sometimes I wish Whittingham had chosen BYU (it is I believe, a choice he carefully considered) and at other times, I'm thrilled to have Mendehall at the helm of the football program.

    Both universities got the man best suited for each school's culture and mission.

  • relientk Saratoga Springs, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 8:31 a.m.

    And yet Bronco has accomplished more than many others will ever accomplish.

  • bw00ds Tucson, AZ
    Sept. 10, 2013 8:26 a.m.

    LaVell Edwards is such a class act.

    @Ellington Thanks for your insight.

  • Ellington Bloomington, IN
    Sept. 10, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    Nice story, although I'll give one clarification. It wasn't only defensive players that were in Holmoe's office. I was there and John Beck was there, and at least two other offensive players were there to support Bronco. Also, we went up to his office in a very impromptu manner after practice. Many players had already left when we decided to head up yet I know others would had come with us had they been around / aware of what was happening. I'm sure glad things worked out the way they did!