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Bronco Mendenhall and wife Holly start the fundraising for the Virginia Football Operations Center

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It’s a record-setting gift to kick off the process

NCAA Football: Miami at Virginia Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia Cavaliers head coach Bronco Mendenhall and his wife, Holly, have pledged the initial gift to begin the fundraising process for the program’s new so-called Operations Center.

UVA announced the $500,000 donation Thursday afternoon, on the heels of a summit last Friday at the Farmington Country Club to woo donors into giving money to get the $180 million “Master Plan” underway.

Said Mendenhall in a news release: “Holly and I are excited to be a part of the process that transforms Virginia football. We love developing young people through football and the new Football Operations Center will provide our young men a home where they can develop into exceptional football players, students and leaders.”

According to the University, the Mendenhall family’s gift is a record for any head coach at UVA. “Bronco’s vision for the impact this facility will have on the football program is inspiring and I hope his and Holly’s gift will motivate others to invest in the future of Virginia student-athletes,” athletic director Carla Williams said in a statement.

Mendenhall’s salary this year is $3.55 million, $500,000 of which is paid for by the school itself with the remainder covered by sponsors and donors via the Virginia Athletics Foundation.

This also comes days after his signature win in Charlottesville, an upset of the Miami Hurricanes last Saturday. The 4-2 Wahoos hit the road this weekend for a game against the Duke Blue Devils (12:30 p.m., ACC Network/Raycom).