The true personality of a person is not always readily ascertainable. This is true even for Division I football coaches who are consistently under the watchful gaze of media and fans. Those who are personally connected with Bronco Mendenhall have routinely stated that he gets an unfair shake from reporters and fans alike.
The criticisms usually start with Mendenhall being boring and finish with the idea that he would be better suited as a Mission President. I mean, what right does this man have to implement a spiritual fireside program into the football regimen of school owned by a church? Or something.
Because Coach Mendenhall keeps his personal life from the public eye, aside from his recent book, we are left to pick up pieces about his true character from anecdotal sources. ESPN had a camera crew at a BYU spring practice this past season for an 'all-access' look at the program. I remember being struck by how different Mendenhall was in that setting as compared to everywhere else I had seen or heard him.
Last night, Mendenhall and new assistants Robert Anae and Garret Tujague had a home visit with current TCU commit and junior college offensive lineman Lloyd Tunstill.
Here's what Tunstill had to say:
The conversation includes current BYU commit Sam Lee, who was teammates with Tunstill at College of the Canyons (head coach: "2J," the pronunciation of Tujague.)
What can be surmised from such an encounter? The cynic may say that the overly positive response is just a result of Mendenhall selling him a bag of goods. To me, it shows just how great of an ambassador Mendenhall is for the university and that perhaps those closest to him are right; there is more than meets the eye.
Additionally, I am always reminded of this terrific video of Coach Mendenhall, produced by BYU.