Paul Mendenhall, father of former BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall, dies at 88

(Zack Wajsgras | AP file photo) Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall after a win over Georgia Tech in an NCAA college football game in Charlottesville, Va., on Nov. 4, 2017.

Paul Mendenhall, a former BYU football player and the father of former BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall, died recently near his home in Alpine, Utah, at the age of 88.

Paul Mendenhall was born in Mapleton but spent his early years in Ogden before his family moved to Stockton, Calif.

He was recruited to play college football for Stanford, but chose instead to sign with BYU and played for the Cougars in 1953 and 1954.

According to his obituary in The Salt Lake Tribune, Paul Mendenhall was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers but decided to work in real estate, investments and to raise quarter horses.

Bronco Mendenhall always spoke lovingly of his upbringing in the Mendenhall household, and said he inherited his work ethic from his father and did chores such as shoveling manure, milking cows and breaking horses at a young age under the direction of Paul Mendenhall.

He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New Zealand and later served as a mission president in the Auckland (New Zealand) Mission.

The Twitter feed for the University of Virginia’s football program, where Bronco Mendenhall is currently coaching, offered its condolences on Tuesday.

“Please know that we are thinking of you and the rest of your family at this time,” Virginia Football tweeted.

Paul Mendenhall is survived by his wife, Lenore Vandenberg Mendenhall, and his four sons: Michael John, Mathew Wendell, Martin Paul and Marc Bronco Clay Mendenhall, who was BYU’s coach from 2005 to 2015.

Mat Mendenhall graduated from East High in Salt Lake City, played for BYU and then in the NFL for two seasons for Washington. He started in Super Bowl XVII in 1982 in a 27-10 win over the Miami Dolphins.

Marty Mendenhall is a former Mr. Utah bodybuilding champion.

A viewing will be held Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. and Thursday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the LDS Church at 327 Long Drive Court in Alpine. A funeral service will be held Thursday at noon at the same building.