This is the season for the college football coaching carousel, with coaches leaving and new jobs opening up, sometimes by complete surprise. That was the case for Wisconsin, which suddenly had an opening after Gary Andersen, formerly of Utah State, left after only two seasons to go to Oregon State.
Wisconsin quickly found their replacement, in former Badgers OC and Pitt head coach Paul Chryst, but formally posted the position and invited other applicants. A TV station in Wisconsin filed a public records request, and discovered that among the names of various unqualified jokers, was BYU's own Bronco Mendenhall.
From the article:
An open records request to the university's athletics department revealed 46 applicants sent in 278 pages of resumes, coaching philosophies and references to Athletic Director Barry Alvarez for the position that Chryst received on Dec. 17. State law allows candidates to remain confidential if they ask for that in writing.
Among the football coaches who applied for the position were current defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, Brigham Young University head coach Bronco Mendenhall and former Army head coach Richard Ellerson.
The fact that Aranda applied is not a big surprise. He's a very respected defensive coordinator and Chryst worked hard to retain him. But Mendenhall's name is a big surprise, especially given that he could have elected to remain confidential, but chose not to. Without any historical ties to the midwest or the Big Ten, a move to Wisconsin would have been a major surprise.
Mendenhall was floated as a possible candidate for Oregon State, but was not one of the finalists.
Heading into today's bowl game against Memphis, Mendenhall is 90-38 at BYU, making ten consecutive bowl games. His teams finished in the AP Top 25 four times.