I admit that I knew little about Bronco Mendenhall before today when I read an article about him in a Charlottesville paper.
I’m happy I stumbled upon it.
For those of you who are not familiar with him (probably a minority), Bronco Mendenhall was the head football coach at BYU before moving to the University of Virginia this past year. He never had a losing season at BYU.
The article does a good job of highlighting the reasons for his long record of success.
Among the keys for his success:
- Cares more about his players as people than as football players.
- Relishes a challenge and likes to build things
- Employs high standards
- Appears to be very authentic
- Lifelong learner who employs proven methods
Each of these keys are good and all are very important.
But it is clear reading the article that a life of learning, and specifically learning from reading, is a huge part of his success as a football coach:
“Among his favorites are four “foundational books” that he bases his program on: Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin, The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle, Legacy by James Kerr and Wooden on Leadership by John Wooden. And Mendenhall himself is the subject of a book—Running Into the Wind, by Alyson Von Feldt and Paul Gustavson, which discusses the philosophy he developed as head football coach at Brigham Young University for 11 years.”
Of the books above, only Legacy makes my list of most influential, but what’s on the list does not matter so much as the fact that there is a list. I also expect to be reading Running Into the Wind before long.
You want a long career?
Be a lifelong learner. Keep learning from past experiences-your own and others. Stay open to new ideas. Stay up to date on research and evidence based learning. Listen to others.
Please share your favorite books in the comments.