Sunday, January 14, 2007

Mangino goes retro for coordinator post


Saying in a recent interview that he wanted an offensive coordinator who could mesh well with his staff, Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino appears to have made sure he didn't miss.

Multiple sources have confirmed that Mangino completed his search for a new offensive coordinator, hiring Illinois offensive line coach Ed Warinner last week.

Sound familiar? It should: Warinner coached KU's offensive line in 2003 and 2004 before departing for Champaign, Ill. He's familiar with almost every member of KU's coaching staff and has worked with several of them.

A message left at Warinner's home Saturday morning wasn't returned, and Kansas hasn't issued a press release announcing the hiring, but could do so in the next few days. An Illinois reporter for also confirmed Warinner's hiring, citing sources in Champaign.

Warinner, 45, specializes in coaching the offensive line, though he was offensive coordinator at Army in 1998 and '99. He has served as line coach at Army, Air Force, Kansas and Illinois in the last 10 years. He was run-game coordinator for both the Jayhawks and Illini between 2003 and '06.

Though Illinois had a dismal 2-10 record last season, two things stood out.

First, the Illini averaged 188.8 yards per game rushing with Warinner in charge, ranking first in the Big Ten Conference and 10th in NCAA Division I-A. That in part led to offseason interest in Warinner. He was among the finalists for the head-coaching job at Air Force, but the position eventually went to Houston Texans offensive coordinator Troy Calhoun.

Secondly, Illinois has made noise during recruiting season, landing multiple elite recruits despite finishing in the Big Ten cellar. Rivals ranks Illinois' class as the 11th-best class in the country.

According to Rivals, Warinner was lead recruiter for several Illini commitments out of the state of Ohio. His recruiting zones during his first stop at Kansas were Northeast Ohio and the Houston area. He grew up in Stratsburg, Ohio.

It's unknown if Warinner will take on responsibilities of a unit, as Quartaro did when doubling as quarterbacks coach the last five years. Warinner never has coached quarterbacks, though he was running-backs coach at Akron in 1984.

Mangino said in an interview with the Journal-World last week that he planned to stick with a spread offense, though he did point out the need to develop a more vertical passing game. He also stressed continuing the success running the football that Kansas had in 2006, when senior Jon Cornish broke the single-season school record.

"We want to continue to run the ball well," Mangino said. "We're losing some offensive linemen and our running back, and we want to make sure we can establish a running game."

¢ Border War to Arrowhead?: KU associate athletic director Larry Keating denied a rumor that the Border War game against Missouri officially was being moved to Arrowhead Stadium the next two seasons, though he didn't deny that talks are ongoing.

"No more than usual," Keating said. "We've had discussions with Arrowhead every season."

KU moved a 2005 home game with Oklahoma to Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., and officials said at the time that they'd be interested in doing it again if it was successful. Before the OU game was moved, Kansas was interested in playing two consecutive games - one home, one road - with either Missouri, Kansas State or Iowa State at Arrowhead. At the time, none of the other schools was interested.

KU officials might consider 2007 a good season to play another game at Arrowhead. With four nonconference home games, Kansas still can guarantee seven home games to the city of Lawrence while moving one to Kansas City. That was a main point KU made when discussing the move last time, though opinions differed on whether taking a game off campus was a good idea from a competitive standpoint.

According to Keating, nothing is official yet. When asked if a KU-Mizzou move to Arrowhead was going to take place, Keating replied, "Not yet."

¢ Cornish to the Combine: Several Web sites have confirmed that Cornish has been invited to the 2007 NFL Combine.

The prestigious event does intense evaluations on prospects' physical and mental makeups and is considered crucial to a player's stock in April's NFL Draft.

The Combine starts Feb. 21 in Indianapolis. Cornish currently is the only Jayhawk on the invitation list.


Roy Scherff 13 years, 10 months ago

Just the guy we need back at KU. Sounds great!

JBurtin 13 years, 10 months ago

Our offense was great the last time Warinner was here due in large part to the amount of time that our offensive line gave Whittemore to throw. Good move to find a coach that knows how to win the battle in the trenches. That kind of hard nosed play will help us turn red zone field goals into touchdowns.

Sounds like a big score as a recruiter as well.

All in all, a great hire.

GIHAWK 13 years, 10 months ago

I don't mind sticking to the spread offense as long as we are creative with the formations and playcalling...Because this offense hasn't exactly worked. If we are going to run the ball I'd like to see a I formation with McAnderson as the lead blocker.

FlaHawk 13 years, 10 months ago

Interesting choice as Offensive Coordinator. I did not catch whether he would be QB coach as well or Mangino was going to add an additional staff?

Warinner looks good (they all do on paper), but why did Mangino lose him in the first place. Sounds like he was O-Line coach at Illinois also (lateral move). No experience with offensive coordination nor QB coach in many years.

I like the emphasis on running game, but KU has no returning running threat (Sharpe has potential but not proven yet). Don't see vertical pasing game blooming from an O-Line coach either.

If Mangino was looking for one of the family does this mean that Quartaro did not get along with other coaches? He lasted a long time for one not getting along!

Mangino needs to improve his game play calling with this choice. I will go along with Mangino as his job is riding in large part on this being a better coaching staff. The buck stops with the Big Man!


Kyle Crenshaw 13 years, 10 months ago

KU football is really making some moves. i dont really like the idea of moving a home game to Arrowhead though. It would be like KU basketball playin at Kemper (kind of) no home-field advantage at all! especially if its against missouri, because i dont know if ku officials realize arrowhead is in missouri. how is that a home game??? props to getting an amazing new assistant

sevenyearhawk 13 years, 10 months ago

As someone who lived in Tampa/St Pete, the hype surrounding Florida/Georgia in Jacksonville is as big as Texas/Oklahoma in Dallas if not bigger ...

if would be a HUGE step for both programs to make the move to Arrowhead.

Imagine the West side dripping in Crimson & Blue, the East side in Black & Gold ...

With a TV deal: huge for profile, huge for recruiting!!

doubleJ 13 years, 10 months ago no no no NO! Do not move the MU game to Arrowhead. First off it would be a bad idea because I think MU might play in KC this year (our home year) and then the following year decide they want to play at Columbia. I do not deny that the situation has worked for those other schools but I just don't like the idea. I like it better for our kids to have to endure the crap MU fans may spew forth at them in Columbia to toughen them up. And I like that every other year MU has to come into Lawrence and face some of the largest crowds in KU history.

But I have a feeling that this will ultimately happen due to money. I like Lew and all the staff in all they've done for KU's programs, but they are much more money hungry than past AD's and ultimately 70,000 tickets at most likely an inflated price would bring in more money than 51,000. I hope it doesn't come to that.

JBurtin 13 years, 10 months ago

No need to worry doubleJ, there is no concern about Missou suddenly deciding to play their game at home instead of Arrowhead. A game like this would have a contractual agreement attached that neither team could suddenly back out and decide to play at home.

I do love the home games against Missou, but I wouldn't mind seeing it go to Arrowhead. A game like that is likely to get national coverage for our program which right now very seldom happens. As it stands currently, many recruits on the coast probably couldn't tell you with absolute certainty whether KU even has a football program. You're not going to pick up recruits if they don't even know who you are.

Also, the last time we played a game at Arrowhead it was a big financial success for the school. Arrowhead provides the security and the Parking staff and saves us alot of expenses, yet we still get the ticket money. The stands weren't even very full for that game, yet the school made more money than they would have on a home game. If it was KU/MU, you can bet that every last seat in the house would be full. That would equal huge money and a full stadium would show the nation that KU fans do take their football seriously.

seattlehawk_78 13 years, 10 months ago

But when we beat them we can't cart the goalposts off to Potter.

I have mixed feelings about this. There's nothing like beating your chief rival at home but I can't overlook the exposure and financial side of it.

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