Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall stepping down after bowl

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Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall is stepping down after the Cavaliers play their bowl game, ending his tenure at the school after six seasons.

The surprising announcement came in a news release and gave no explanation as to why the 55-year-old Mendenhall was leaving the school after a 6-6 regular season. There was no mention of retirement.

In a hastily organized conference call with reporters, Mendenhall said: “I need to step back from college football.”

He added: “This is 100 percent my choice.”

Mendenhall went 36-38 at Virginia, leading the Cavaliers to five straight bowl appearances and their only Atlantic Coast Conference title game appearance two years ago.