ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — The college football world was rocked Thursday by the news that Bronco Mendenhall would be resigning from the University of Virginia after the team’s bowl game. The Cavaliers head coach has impacted many athletes — including Glenvar product Josh Clifford. “I know exactly the implications of people because that’s the world I live in. The decisions I make impact families and young people. And so I don’t take it lightly,” said Bronco Mendenhall.
When Bronco Mendenhall decided to step down from his head coaching role at UVA, the decision shocked nearly everyone… including Kevin Clifford and his son Josh — who is wrapping up his career as a Cavalier. “He was shocked and he was upset because he really likes coach Mendenhall. And he understands Mendenhall and the opportunity he gave him and he’s very much appreciative of that opportunity and grateful for it and I think, we were sad because we think a lot of him as a human being,” said Kevin Clifford.
After playing for his dad at Glenvar, Josh was a preferred walk-on at Virginia and got to be part of a program on the rise under Mendenhall’s direction — from bowl games to a signature victory rival Virginia Tech in 2019… plenty for the Clifford family to be grateful for. “Just the experience. The fact that my son went to UVA. Got to play in a Power Five conference. Got on the field a little bit and played for good men that cared about his well being,” said Clifford.
As Mendenhall gets set to depart Charlottesville — his character has left on impact on the athletes and families associated with the program. “I just think the way he handled himself. With integrity and honesty and just class. And I’m proud my son was associated with a man like that,” said Clifford. And as a dad and fellow head coach himself — Kevin Clifford understood Mendenhall’s decision to focus more time on family.
“I think every coach eventually comes to that point where you start evaluating what’s more important…I think it’s really cool that he decided when and where and I think that’s important for all of us…if my wife came to me today and said I want you to quit coaching, I’d quit coaching,” said Clifford.
Mendenhall still has one more game with the Wahoos before going their separate ways…
and as for what’s next… “We’re going to move on when Josh graduates and it’ll be memories that will last a lifetime for us. Fond and good memories,” said Clifford.
Memories made possible by Bronco Mendenhall.