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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Virginia introduced new football coach Bronco Mendenhall to fans during halftime of the Cavaliers' 71-58 home basketball win over Oakland on Wednesday night, and the former BYU coach beamed, saying, "Man, this is going to be fun."
Mendenhall wore a Cavaliers pullover jacket, held up two fingers and smiled at the standing-ovation crowd of screaming fans as he addressed them.
"Tonight, I'm getting a quick glimpse into who you are," Mendenhall told the UVA students, alumni and fans. "Wait until you see the fall.
"I promise you there won't be anyone that will work harder than I will, and I only know winning football. I don't know what it's like to be home in the holidays; bowl games happen with this program. If the past is any indication — 11-straight bowl games — why not start making it 12 this next season?"
Mendenhall led BYU to a 99-43 record in nearly a dozen seasons at the helm, including a 6-5 record in the postseason after the Cougars' 35-28 loss to Utah in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl. Mendenhall's team ranked 12th nationally in total wins by an FBS program over the past 11 years.
In six seasons under former coach Mike London, the Cavaliers went to one bowl game, losing to Auburn 43-24 in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in 2011 to move to 7-11 all-time in postseason bowl games. The Cavs were 26-45 under London, including 4-8 in 2015.
"I love the support you've given the basketball team, and my hope is I am able to earn your respect and support," Mendenhall said. "We'll make falls in Charlottesville the place that people absolutely have to be."
TORRE, TAULAPAPA SCHOLARSHIPS PULLED — Back in Provo, Bingham quarterback Keaton Torre and Hawaii-based running back Wayne Taulapapa had scholarship offers pulled by new coach Kalani Sitake, according to tweets the duo sent Wednesday.
Torre, a former Louisville commit, added he harbors no ill will toward Sitake or new offensive coordinator Ty Detmer for what he referred to as a "business decision."
Thanks to everyone for all the love and support, means a lot. The man upstairs has a plan for me and I'm excited to see what that is. 🙏— KT_10 (@keaton_torre) December 30, 2015
Torre spent the past season as the Miners' backup quarterback after moving to Utah from Oklahoma to the same school as cousin Yoeli Childs, a BYU basketball signee. The senior had already signed an offer of admission from the Cougars, and was set to begin classes Monday alongside current commits Handsome Tanielu from Snow College and Troy Warner from Mission Hills (California) High School, among others.
Those plans have changed, but Torre told the Deseret News he currently is fielding interest from Utah, UNLV, Yale, Harvard and Colorado State.
"I built great relationships down there, and I really wish nothing but the best for the program and coach Sitake and (offensive coordinator) coach (Ty) Detmer and all them," he said. "I'm excited to follow them throughout the years. Go, Cougs, like always, and God bless."
Likewise, Taulapapa reopened his recruitment and is currently in discussions with Hawaii, Army and Navy, according to the Deseret News.
Contributing: Rod Zundel