Bronco Mendenhall is currently in his 9th season as BYUs Head Football Coach, but for this introvert, life off the field is about family, the outdoors, and taco flavored Doritos chips. Shauna Lake sits down with Bronco Mendenhall in this weeks Person 2 Person.
Below is a transcript of Shauna Lakes interview with Bronco Mendenhall:
SHAUNA LAKE: First and foremost, I just want to lead the interview off with saying with a name like Bronco, you had to have a spectacular job. You weren't going to do just something run of the mill I assume.
BRONCO MENDENHALL: It narrowed it down really early. Maybe bull rider, rodeo that whole genre, or I had to be a football coach. So I think my dad named me that. My mom was against it. My dads mom, so my grandma, said that she would disown my dad if he went through with it and he did. So during I think the baby blessing part of it he said he was looking up with one eye to see, but she stayed. She didn't walk out, and I'm still here.
SHAUNA LAKE: So that's the name on your birth certificate?
BRONCO MENDENHALL: It is.
SHAUNA LAKE: Its not a nickname?
BRONCO MENDENHALL: Its not a nickname.
SHAUNA LAKE: Sounds like your dad played a big role in your life.
BRONCO MENDENHALL: My dad is, other than my wife and now my three boys, Id say my dads my best friend. We worked side by side from the time I was in fifth grade. He taught me to drive a truck when I was in fifth grade, sent me out doing chores, and I grew up on 30 something acres of horse property. He trusted me with all kinds of responsibility. We traveled the country together showing. I never wanted to do or get into any mischief because man, my life in boots and spurs and riding colts and getting kicked around and bucked, riding four wheelers and hauling hay was like an adventure every day, and I got to see and emulate his example daily. It was the coolest way to grow up that I could imagine. Not only a ton of work, but I had kind of a mentor and a friend in front of me all the time. It was amazing.
SHAUNA LAKE: Another coach had said, there's two kinds of wives in football, good wives and ex-wives, and it sounds like Holly s a good wife.
BRONCO MENDENHALL: Better than that. Shes the perfect companion in this journey. When we got married, I had just gotten fired at Oregon State, and I proposed and our honeymoon was driving a Ryder truck from Missoula, Montana to Ruston, Louisiana. She is the anchor, and without her, this job would have ended a long time ago. Its never been about football, its been about she and I carving out our place in the world. She is, shes remarkable.
SHAUNA LAKE: What about the toll it takes on a family? It is you are a coach. You do have a lot of pressure as you mentioned and it does take a toll on the family, and you're cognizant of that.
BRONCO MENDENHALL: I am and unless you put things in place within your schedulea friend told me one time that scheduled events happen more often than non-scheduled events and so we have a date every week. Odd time, Thursday at noon to 1:30pm is our date. We have kind of a little correlation Sunday. We work hard to keep the romance in our life. We work hard to have a life outside of BYU Football. We adore our three boys, and we have to help them all out for responses they hear about their dad or our program.
SHAUNA LAKE: What about the celebrity of all this? I mean you live in Utah County. Utah's not filled with a lot of celebrities. Do you enjoy that? Being stopped at restaurants and grocery stores?
BRONCO MENDENHALL: There's a really unique thing in fact my brothers and my wife laugh about it all the time. So I love the study of personalities and human communication and interaction. And on the Myers & Briggs personality assessment there's an introversion/extroversion component of that. And you cant score higher on the introversion scale than I do. So I seek privacy. I seek solitude. I love being by myself. Yet
SHAUNA LAKE: You're in this very public realm.
BRONCO MENDENHALL: I'm an introvert in an extrovert job which adds kind of the double tone, and so I think a lot of times that's why I come across so stoic. Its just like, am I really doing this? Id rather just have no one watching, and so I don't quite get it other than I understand how many people follow BYU, how many people love the church, and how many people love football. And I just happen to be for now, the face that that's all linked to. And its an acquired taste. Id rather just be private, but thats not kind of an option right now.
SHAUNA LAKE: What do you do to decompress? I know you like to surf. Is that kind of the place you soothe yourself? You don't have to talk to anybody so you get to be the introvert that you truly are I guess.
BRONCO MENDENHALL: If I were to just list off the hobbies, none of them require anybody else. So I love to mountain bike, which usually early, early in the morning or at night so there's a headlamp and nobody's around other than just pedaling. Standup paddle, usually Fridays before the game I go across Utah Lake and back just paddling, solitude. Fly-fishing, love that. Riding my motorcycle, hard to talk to anybody with the chrome, the asphalt, and the wind. I love to surf. And those things are actually built into every week. And so I have what Ive kind of told my secretary is sacred time, and each day, oh and swimming. I love to swim, which again is kind of solitude oriented. So there's about an hour each day that something like that is built in and that at least for me personally, because of my makeup and how private I am, that kind of helps me like then deal with the rest.
SHAUNA LAKE: Whats a guilty pleasure for you?
BRONCO MENDENHALL: I love, love, love, love taco flavored Dorito chips. So its hard to find them now, but I could sit and eat like a giant bag with a gallon of milk.
SHAUNA LAKE: Good thing you're swimming. You can burn it off I guess.
BRONCO MENDENHALL: So it can be healthy all day and at some point, or all week or all month, and Ill just crack. If you see chip crumbs on me or something you'll know whats happening.
SHAUNA LAKE: Its been a really bad game and you have chip crumbs, we know whats happening.
BRONCO MENDENHALL: Or a really good one. It can go either way.
SHAUNA LAKE: Bronco, its been so nice to get to know you a little better Person 2 Person.
BRONCO MENDENHALL: Thanks.
SHAUNA LAKE: Thank you so much.
Web Extraâs From Bronco Mendenhallâs Interview:
What Makes Bronco Mendenhall Emotional
Bronco Mendenhall’s LDS Religion and How It Plays Out On the Field Broncoâs Sons Unusual Names
-Written and produced by Leslie Tillotson
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)