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Abysmal record nothing new for first year Virginia Football coaches

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But that doesn’t mean Bronco Mendenhall is doomed to failure.

NCAA Football: Miami at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall is staring at a tough end to a rough first year with the Hoos, sitting at 2-8 today. With two games remaining, the best record the Hoos can hope for in the first year of the new regime is 4-8, but even that depends on wins this weekend against Georgia Tech and next weekend against an apparently-actually-good Virginia Tech.

The disappointing start to a new era is nothing new for the Cavaliers football program as none of the 15 other UVA coaches since 1931 had a winning record in their first year at the helm of the program either. The stumbles in the first year doesn’t necessarily mean the head coach still can’t right the ship in years to come. Virginia's most successful coach, George Welsh, was 2-9 in his first season, but ultimately led the Cavaliers to a No. 1 ranking and appearances (and wins) in some of the nation’s premier bowls.

Below is a list of how UVA coaches have fared their first years on the job, and how they finished their Virginia careers.

Year Conf W L T Pct Coach Final UVA Coaching Record
1931 Southern 1 7 2 0.200 Fred Dawson (1-7-2) 8-17-4
1934 Southern 3 6 0 0.333 Gus Tebell (3-6) 6-18-4
1937 Southern 2 7 0 0.222 Frank Murray (2-7) 41-34-5
1946 Ind 4 4 1 0.500 Arthur Guepe (4-4-1) 47-17-2
1953 Ind 1 8 0 0.111 Ned McDonald (1-8) 5-23-0
1956 ACC 3 7 0 0.300 Ben Martin (3-7) 7-12-1
1958 ACC 1 9 0 0.100 Richard Voris (1-9) 1-29-0
1961 ACC 4 6 0 0.400 William Elias (4-6) 16-23-1
1965 ACC 4 6 0 0.400 George Blackburn (4-6) 29-32-0
1971 ACC 3 8 0 0.273 Don Lawrence (3-8) 11-22-0
1974 ACC 4 7 0 0.364 Sonny Randle (4-7) 5-17-0
1976 ACC 2 9 0 0.182 Dick Bestwick (2-9) 16-29-1
1982 ACC 2 9 0 0.182 George Welsh (2-9) 134-86-3
2001 ACC 5 7 0 0.417 Al Groh (5-7) 59-53-0
2010 ACC 4 8 0 0.333 Mike London (4-8) 27-46-0
2016 ACC 2 8 0 0.200 Bronco Mendenhall (2-8) ???

Hopefully, the program can get through the growing pains of the new systems and return to their winning ways.