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Bronco Mendenhall shuffles staff assignments at Virginia

Following a disappointing 2020 campaign, Bronco Mendenhall is shuffling responsibilities heading into his sixth season at Virginia.

Nick Howell will remain on as defensive coordinator/secondary coach, but with help. Shane Hunter will shift from inside linebackers coach to safeties coach, and co-defensive coordinator Kelly Poppinga will handle all linebackers after previously focusing on outside 'backers.

Additionally, Ricky Brumfield will switch from tight ends to cornerbacks while remaining special teams coordinator. Offensive coordinator Robert Anae will now coach tight ends, a position he coached at Virginia from 2016-19.

“Kelly, Shane and Ricky have established themselves as outstanding coaches and are ready for more responsibilities,” Mendenhall said. “These adjustments provide Coach Howell the opportunity and assistance to focus more of his efforts on the overall execution of the defense. Nick has developed into a trusted and valuable member of our staff. My intent is to maximize his knowledge and experience with our defense to provide our team with the best opportunity for success.”

The 2019 season was a breakthrough campaign for the Cavaliers, snapping a 15-game Commonwealth Cup losing streak to Virginia Tech and winning the program's first ACC Coastal Division title.

But 2020 saw the Hoos slip back to 5-5 overall and 4-5 in ACC play, including a 33-15 loss to Virginia Tech. In the process, UVA fell from 77th to 101st in yards per play allowed.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.