Inside the Headset: Bronco Mendenhall & Michael Christensen [PODCAST]

On this episode of Inside the Headset, we speak with Bronco Mendenhall, head coach for the University of Virginia, and Mike Christensen, head coach for Lakewood (Calif.) HS.

Coach Mendenhall’s career began at Oregon State as a graduate assistant (1989-1990) before moving to Snow College to work with the defensive backs and serve as the defensive coordinator (1991-1992). He then joined the staff at Northern Arizona as co-defensive coordinator (1993-1994) before returning to Oregon State and being promoted to defensive coordinator (1995-1996). Mendenhall coached defensive backs at Louisiana Tech (1997), was the assistant head coach/defensive coordinator at New Mexico (1998-2002), and was the defensive coordinator at BYU for two seasons before being named head coach (2003-2015). Mendenhall has been the head coach at Virginia since 2016.

  • [1:01] Start of interview
  • [2:03] Coaching as teaching
  • [4:55] Power of expectations & the Pygmalion Effect
  • [6:58] Extreme Ownership & accountability
  • [8:42] Eco-Challenge & “will before skill”
  • [12:15] Making an adventure out of moving from Provo to Charlottesville
  • [14:56] Plan for sons’ future fiancées
  • [18:02] Flaws in the current recruiting model
  • [19:45] Player interviews: “Words mean nothing to me.”
  • [21:02] Importance of serving on AFCA Committees
  • [23:36] Recap

You can follow Bronco Mendenhall on Twitter.

Coach Christensen joined the staff at South (Calif.) HS as an assistant in 1989 and went on to become the head coach in 1992. Before the 1998 season, he was named head coach of Lakewood (Calif.) HS and has helped lead the program to its most wins in any four year span in school history. Christensen also had head coaching stints at Carson (Calif.) HS (2006-2009), Loyola (Calif.) HS (2010-2012), and Peninsula (Calif.) HS (2013-2015). In 2016, Christensen returned to Lakewood HS to help rebuild the program.

  • [35:13] Start of interview
  • [35:26] Importance of the game of football
  • [36:37] Role as Chairman of National HS Committee for the AFCA
  • [37:25] Impact of AFCA’s online content
  • [39:30] Committee involvement
  • [42:20] Importance of the high school coach

You can follow Mike Christensen on Twitter or email him.

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