Bronco Mendenhall has coached football for the past 34 years. The former head coach of Brigham Young University’s football team, he surprised the football world when he stepped down as head coach of the University of Virginia team last year. Recently he has started co-hosting a podcast, HeadCoachU. At BYU, Bronco led the Cougars to win 99 games in eleven years—the second-most wins in school history—along with eleven consecutive bowl invitations. He has served in the Church as a Primary and Sunday School teacher, a Sunday School president and ward mission leader, Young Mens advisor, high councilor, and in a bishopric. He and his wife Holly have three sons and live in Montana.


01:20 Introduction to Bronco Mendenhall and his background

03:20 Bronco talks about what it’s like to finally have a fall where he isn’t coaching football.

07:00 Having courage and faith to step down as head coach of the University of Virginia. How Bronco knew it was time to step down.

11:45 Is it really true that fear and faith can’t exist at the same time?

14:00 We all have so much going on everyday. Does your calendar reflect your priorities? It doesn’t matter so much how much time you spend on something but that it’s scheduled everyday.

16:30 Taking a pause from a successful career. Sometimes a pause accelerates the journey or outcome. Listen to the spirit to know if you should keep stepping or if it’s time to pause.

20:45 Different times or days to take a pause. Sunday could be a good day to take a pause as a family. Other ideas could be family dinner and in the morning before everyone leaves.

22:45 Starting out coaching at the University of Virginia. It was more than just coaching football, it was building character.

27:00 What did your father teach you about leadership?

32:00 Advice that Bronco has for elders quorum presidents about creating an atmosphere of motivation and development. Apart from the lesson, there has to be a connection of true love and true caring that is undeniable.

38:15 If we can engage 5 to 15% to a new cultural movement it will spread to everyone else

38:30 How Bronco would do tryouts and recruiting for his Virginia team and how it applies to the church and activities. The activities need to be really well thought of in terms of the intent. You can learn a lot about people and the state of their heart through these activities.

42:40 Significant emotional experiences facilitate long term memory. What if we disrupt the normal lesson on Sunday to create an experience?

49:00 How do you begin to develop personal relationships with people when you become a new leader?

52:15 An open door policy is not good enough. Don’t make people come to you. Be there with them. Make it effortless for them to talk to you.

56:40 Advice for doing one on ones with people. Bronco explains what carefrontation is.

1:01:50 Why Bronco started reading. As a leader he had to continually learn new things to help those he led.

1:05:30 A few books that Bronco would recommend to a new leader

1:10:00 Bronco’s podcast, HeadCoachU

1:16:30 How being a leader and coach has made Bronco into a better disciple of Jesus Christ


HeadCoachU podcast
Leadership and Self Deception: Getting Out of the Box, by the Arbinger Institute
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t, by Jim Collins
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The Leading Saints Podcast has ranked in the top 20 Christianity podcasts in iTunes, gets over 500,000 listens each month, and has over 10 million total downloads as part of nonprofit Leading Saints’ mission to help latter-day saints be better prepared to lead. Learn more and listen to any of the past episodes for free at

Past guests include Emily Belle Freeman, David Butler, Hank Smith, John Bytheway, Liz Wiseman, Stephen M. R. Covey, Julie Beck, Brad Wilcox, Jody Moore, Tony Overbay, John H. Groberg, Elaine Dalton, Tad R. Callister, J. Devn Cornish, Dennis B. Neuenschwander, Anthony Sweat, John Hilton III, Barbara Morgan Gardner, Blair Hodges, Whitney Johnson, Ryan Gottfredson, Greg McKeown, DeAnna Murphy, Michael Goodman, Richard Ostler, Ganel-Lyn Condie, and many more in over 500 episodes.

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