CHARLOTTESVILLE (WAVY) – In a stunning announcement, the University of Virginia announced on Thursday evening that Bronco Mendenhall will step down as the Cavaliers head football coach.

Mendenhall will exit his position after the Cavaliers’ upcoming bowl game.

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In his sixth season in Charlottesville, Mendenhall led UVA to a 36-38 record and was bowl eligible five consecutive seasons.

During his time at Virginia, Mendenhall’s teams captured the 2019 ACC Coastal Division title and an appearance in the Orange Bowl.

That was the only season that Virginia finished with a winning record in conference play.

Mendenhall’s record against arch-rival Virginia Tech was 1-5.

“It has been a privilege to have Bronco Mendenhall direct the Virginia football team over the past six seasons,” said Virginia athletics director Carla Williams in a statement released by the University.

“He has done an exceptional job of not just transforming the program, but elevating the expectations for the program. He has established the necessary foundation to propel our football team upward. He is more than a football coach and the impact he has had on these young men will be a positive influence for the rest of their lives.

“He is an amazing colleague to our other coaches and staff, always willing to help wherever it is needed. I have been blessed to have been able to work with him these last four years and I wish he and Holly the very best in their next chapter.”

Virginia is expected to receive a post-season bowl invitation on Sunday, Dec. 5.

During a Thursday evening Zoom call with the media, Mendenhall said the UVA President and the Athletic Director asked him to stay; he said this was entirely his decision. He added, “even my wife was shocked.”

“I love, love, love my team,” Mendenhall said.

WAVY News 10 will have more on this surprise announcement Thursday night on the Sportswrap.