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.