Pioneer spirit for Cavs and their coach

UVA’s new football coach Bronco Mendenhall moved from Utah and is living in an RV in Ivy.

Photo Cara Salpini UVA’s new football coach Bronco Mendenhall moved from Utah and is living in an RV in Ivy. Photo Cara Salpini

UVA’s football team starts spring training this week under new head coach Bronco Mendenhall, who is residing in an RV in Ivy with his wife Holly and three sons, Cutter, Breaker and Raeder.

The family of five is adjusting to life in an RV while they await a renovation to their new home that could take up to four or six months, according to the Daily Progress.

The new digs in Ivy were listed on Zillow for $1.4 million and feature 28 acres, a nearly 5,000-square-foot house, a six-stall horse barn, a pond and “magnificent mountain views,” according to the listing.

While the coach is roughing it, so is the team. Unlike past players, the current Cavaliers enter spring training with no numbers on their backs, no Virginia gear to sport around grounds and a coach who says they have to “earn” their time on the football field.

.“What I have learned relatively quickly is that this team is not resistant,” Mendenhall says at a March 21 press conference. “They’re eager, they’re hungry. I didn’t know really where they would be and I’ve been really impressed with how hard they want to work, how willing they are to embrace the level of detail that we’ve asked for.’”

Under Mendenhall, each player will have to earn his right to have a number on his back, to wear Virginia gear and even to participate in spring practice.

To qualify for spring training, each player had to complete a tempo run within a timeframe set by Mendenhall. He estimates that 90 per cent of the team qualified, but the remaining players were given an additional opportunity to meet the requirements this past Saturday.

“Eighty percent of the team or more showed up to support the guys that hadn’t made their times,” says Mendenhall, who emphasizes the camaraderie building in the team. “The guys who then qualified, there was dogpiling and it was like fans charging the field after a win.”

He says, “So if you put it in context, these guys are fighting like crazy actually to get to work harder once they put on gear and that’s the paradigm shift I’m hoping for. Football is supposed to be the reward.”

Spring training for the Cavaliers began Tuesday, March 22.