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Bronco Mendenhall’s contract extension at UVA includes clause for retirement after 2022

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Amended buyout provisions include allowing Mendenhall to retire from coaching at end of 2022 season

NCAA Football: Belk Bowl-South Carolina vs Virginia Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

At the end of May, the Virginia Cavaliers athletics program reached an agreement with head football coach Bronco Mendenhall to a contract extension that will keep the coach at UVA through January 2025. And while the deal remains mostly the same—annual base salary of $500,000, with increasing annual “supplemental compensation”—the new contract adds a provision allowing Mendenhall to retire without financial penalty starting December 5, 2022.

Under Mendenhall’s 2015 contract with UVA, he was obligated to pay $3 million if he left on or before December 4, 2018; that buyout decreased by $600,000 ever December 4th. The extension resets that schedule: the full $3 million due if Mendenhall leaves on or before December 4, 2019, decreasing every year by $600,000 until there is no penalty for leaving after December 4, 2023.

However, if Mendenhall resigns after December 4, 2022, “and does not take another job to coach college or professional football in any capacity,” the buyout amount is waived. This is essentially a retirement clause, which the 2015 contract did not contain.

The 2022 season will be Mendenhall’s 36th in college coaching, after starting as a graduate assistant at Oregon State in 1989. He turns 56 in February 2022.

Here is Mendenhall’s supplemental compensation for each year beginning on the date shown:

Mendenhall annual compensation

YEAR AMOUNT
YEAR AMOUNT
Base salary $500,000
Dec 4, 2015 $2,750,000
Dec 4, 2016 $2,900,000
Dec 4, 2017 $3,050,000
Dec 4, 2018 $3,200,000
Dec 4, 2019 $3,350,000
Dec 4, 2020 $3,500,000
Dec 4, 2021 $3,650,000
Dec 4, 2022 $3,800,000
Dec 4, 2023 $3,950,000

The two rows in italics at the bottom are the extension years. (The original 2015 contract ran through January 15, 2021, but included automatic one-year extensions at the end of 2016 and 2017.)

And here is that buyout structure in table form:

Mendenhall buyout structure

Old Terms Leave before... New Terms
Old Terms Leave before... New Terms
$3,000,000 Dec 4, 2018 n/a
$2,400,000 Dec 4, 2019 $3,000,000
$1,800,000 Dec 4, 2020 $2,400,000
$1,200,000 Dec 4, 2021 $1,800,000
$600,000 Dec 4, 2022 $1,200,000
n/a Dec 4, 2023 $600,000

The extension did not make any changes to assistant salary pool or Mendenhall’s bonus structure. Mendenhall received $75,000 for making the Belk Bowl, and up to an additional $50,000 depending on team GPA.