This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
It is difficult to imagine BYU football's Bronco Mendenhall coaching at Colorado. But the eight-year head coach at perhaps the most conservative university with a Division I football program in the country is being called a "viable contender" for the opening at CU, according to a column in the Denver Post written by veteran columnist Woody Paige. The columnist says that Mendenhall and Cincinnati coach Butch Jones have been identified by CU as possibilities to replace Jon Embree, fired earlier this week after just two years at the helm of the Pac-12 program. "Both are winners," a source reportedly told Paige. "They'd be major coups for [CU AD] Mike Bohn." Mendenhall told reporters last January that he interviewed for a Pac-12 opening last winter, but declined to give specifics. Most speculated that it was either UCLA or Arizona State. In the same column, Paige said Colorado will not hire someone who hasn't been a head coach in one of the major six conferences. Mendenhall has not. Having covered Mendenhall the past five seasons, I would be very, very surprised if he is even interested in the Colorado job, even if it really does pay up to $2.5 million a year. Because BYU is a private university and does not have to make its contracts with coaches public, very few people actually know how much Mendenhall makes now. My best guess is somewhere between $750,000 and $1 million. Mendenhall signed a new three-year contract in January of 2011, and said at the time he turned down BYU's offer of a five-year deal, because he couldn't guarantee school officials he would stay in Provo that long. That contract will expire after the 2013 season, barring an extension. Also, Mendenhall isn't the only coach in Utah whose name has cropped up in connection to the Colorado opening. Utah State coach Gary Andersen has reportedly also been contacted by Colorado.