Mendenhall adds 8 assistants, including 6 from staff at BYU
Dec. 12, 2015
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — New Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall has added eight assistant coaches to his staff, including six who will join him from BYU.
The coaches who will be new to Mendenhall are wide receivers coach Marques Hagans, a holdover from Mike London's staff with the Cavaliers, and former East Carolina head coach Ruffin McNeill, who will serve as the assistant head coach and inside linebackers coach.
Those joining him from BYU include offensive coordinator and inside receivers coach Robert Anae, running backs coach Mark Atuaia, quarterbacks coach Jason Beck, offensive line coach Garett Tujague, secondary coach Nick Howell and special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach Kelly Poppinga.
"The opportunity to bring six of my current staff members from BYU is very important," Mendenhall said in a statement from Virginia. "It provides the continuity that is critical for this coaching transition and it demonstrates how vested these coaches are in the plan we have for the Virginia program."
The six have a combined 35 years of experience working with Mendenhall, while McNeill, fired this year after six seasons with the Pirates, spent seven seasons working with Anae at UNLV (1997-98) and Texas Tech (2000-04).
The Pirates with 42-34 in McNeill's tenure, including a 10-win season in 2013, and went to bowl games four times. He also has extensive experience as a defensive coordinator.
Mendenhall says there is still one more position to be filled. He and his BYU staff are still working together in Provo, Utah, getting the Cougars ready to face rival Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 19.