Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Coach’s strict style beneficial to former linebacker


Reader poll

Should Mark Mangino be the head coach of the Kansas Jayhawks next season?

  • Yes 47% 2863 votes
  • No 45% 2729 votes
  • Undecided 7% 453 votes

6045 total votes.

Former Kansas University linebacker Greg Cole remembers well the first time he was the recipient of coach Mark Mangino’s wrath. Cole remembers not sprinting from one drill to the next, which set off his new coach.

“He tore into me,” Cole said by phone from Florida. “He said, ‘You think this is the old way? You think you can hot-dog it and walk to the next drill?’ He really let me have it.”

The reason he remembers it is it made him a better man, a better football player, and today, a better high school football coach. Cole is head coach of Woods Haven Prep in Hollywood Beach, Fla.

“He ripped into me, but I didn’t look at it as him tearing me down,” said Cole, who played one season (2001) for Terry Allen, the next for Mangino. “He was finding ways to get kids motivated. Different kids respond different ways. I never felt like he was belittling me. A lot of kids can’t take harsh constructive criticism.”

Cole added: “I ran to every drill after that and all my players run to the next drill, too.”

Cole said he hasn’t spoken to Mangino in two years and was welcomed as “part of the family,” when he visited an Orange Bowl practice. He said from a distance he’s stunned that Mangino’s job security is an issue.

“It’s been kind of crazy,” he said of following the story. “Come on, you’ve got to give credit where credit’s due. He pretty much built the program from a doormat into a program that’s on the national scene. You see the facilities compared to when I was there. And when I was playing, I saw a whole lot of empty seats. My junior year we played against Nebraska and it was sold out, but Nebraska fans pretty much packed the whole stadium.”

For those who believe Mangino has the tear-them-down aspect of coaching down pat better than the build-them-back-up part, Cole disagrees.

“I played my heart out all the time and after every game he let me know he appreciated the job I was trying to do,” Cole said. “Certain coaches won’t even talk to a lot of players. His office was open when I was there.”

It’s too late for support voiced by former players to save Mangino’s job at Kansas, but it’s important to note that for every horror story, such as the one told by former player Cory Kipp in today’s Journal-World, there are several untold ones about a coach who made a positive difference in the lives of players such as Cole.

Mangino’s far too complicated a man to paint as all good or all bad. He was the right coach at the right time in Kansas football history. His pay was raised a couple of times by current adversary Lew Perkins from $600,000 to $2.3 million. When the pay goes up, so do expectations.

It’s been such a messy split and the divorce needs to become final by the end of the week. The longer it drags on without a resolution, the messier it becomes. Mangino and his agent know time works in their favor in that regard, which gives them the leverage in negotiations over how much of the estimated $6.6 million the coach has left on his contract he can take with him. Meanwhile, assistant coaches are on the road recruiting, not at all sure what product they’re selling or whether they’ll be around to reap the benefits of the sales they’re trying to make.


4quarters 10 years, 5 months ago

I didn't realize that Lew and stepped down and promoted Keegan to AD. If Mangino’s far too complicated a man to paint as all good or all bad, then Keegan certainly seem to favor different brush sizes. Thanks for making it possible to miss Woodling's style and professionalism.

Todd 10 years, 5 months ago

Well he pretty much forced the story upon us so it seems Keegan feels he's responsible for getting the coach ousted and will be pleased as plum about it.

Chuck Wagstaff 10 years, 5 months ago

On the national scene? I must have missed it - which bowl invited us? Where are we in the polls? Oh.

Jeffery Barrett 10 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Truthspeaker 10 years, 5 months ago

sgtjb - If the first thing you mention about the coach mentions his weight the rest of your idiotic argument is null and void due to your obvious stupidity. Thank the lord you aren't going to comment anymore.

Gordon Penny 10 years, 5 months ago

"It’s too late for support voiced by former players to save Mangino’s job at Kansas"

I agree with 4quarters. The LJW has been playing God since this whole thing erupted. Unbiased, responsible newsreporting has gone out the window with this kind of opinionated, holier than thou attitutde. Keegan, if Mangino keeps his job I hope you get into a hell of a lot of trouble.

Gordon Penny 10 years, 5 months ago

By the way, though, the rest of the article was nice.

jayhawkboogeyman 10 years, 5 months ago

So the LJW became a tabloid last night or something? Publishing the Kipp article, which beyond a doubt confirms MM will be gone presently enough, and this stupid defense of MM On the same day. Believe it or not Keegan is not the AD. So quit the good reporter, bad reporter debate routine. The stories of kids MM helped mean nothing. This is like calling all the former girlfriends of a man who beat his wife to find out which ones he was nice to to show he's not tht bad of a guy. A single instance of physical abuse against a player is all it takes. Enough evidence at this point proves MM is an abuser, and the kids who weren't treated that way are lucky it wasn't them.

Kenneth Hillman 10 years, 5 months ago

Yes, the national scene. We lost the games but do you remember how many games we played on national TV this year? Do you remember being ranked 16 this year? We are getting respect on the national scene and that is new and it is due to what the players and Mangino have done with the program. I'm a upset as anybody about the way this season ended but you have to give credit where credit is due. I'm not even saying he shouldn't be fired, but don't be an idiot professor.

Lone_salina_kufan 10 years, 5 months ago

The issue is Mangino's approach didn't change with the level of athlete he brought in. At first, when all you have are scrubs, that just simply have to outwork their opponent, that's one thing. But as you bring in more superior athletes, they don't need or respond to the harsh approach. These kids that are higher rated are not that way just because of natural abilities, but also because they are already busting it 12 months out of the year. They won't respond well to being torn down.

Rick Arnoldy 10 years, 5 months ago

Professor_Fate, where do you live? Yes, we do get national attention, now, both positive and negative. You never saw any KU football highlights a few years ago or any mentions on talk radio. Everyone knows who Mangino is even before this "investigation".

NebraskaJayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Actually I think Keegan is doing a pretty good job painting both sides of the picture. There are other articles from the staff that are much more biased against Mangino.

jayhawkr34 10 years, 5 months ago

I think this was a good article. Finally a good story about Coach Mangino being tough on a player. Cole obviously got something from Coach Mangino, and has felt the need to thank him for it. I'm so sick of hearing Coach Mangino treated players bad, or even poked one in the chest, wow poked one in the chest. This is FOOTBALL not soccer, you suppose that player that got poked in the chest is on the disable list, or waiting for off season surgery. It's FREAKING FOOTBALL, not soccer. If you're gonna cry about being yelled at or getting poked go sit in the bleachers with your mommy until soccer season starts. Geez.

kugrad93 10 years, 5 months ago

So you guys are ripping Keegan for writing his opinion? He's a columnist. Duh. That's what columnists do. They write opinion pieces.

GridironHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Well said kenhil... "don't be an idiot professor" Remind me the last time we had all our football games televised including 5 on ABC?

bvrams 10 years, 5 months ago

I feel like the athletic department and the LJW want our football program to be run like a K-State, where the coach is more of a grandfather figure that you respect and listen to, and not like a Big XII south school and have it in your face, fierce and fiery football. This is a mans game and these guys should be able to take it. Football is much different than basketball, baseball, or volleyball. Every game, you have someone attempting to rip your head off, and if you can not handle the verbal abuse that is being brought to you by a 5'9" 300+ pound coach, how are you going to take the verbal and physical abuse brought to you by a 6'3" 235 pound linebacker?

pmohr13 10 years, 5 months ago

yes because 2nd degree burns is what it takes to discipline a guy.

KU 10 years, 5 months ago

Thanks to LJW for at least trying to balance both sides of this very complex story. Now maybe they can go back and try to balance their anti-Gridiron Club piece with an article that makes a case for how it would benefit the athletic department AND academics at KU.

jayhawkr34 10 years, 5 months ago

peemohr13....another soccer player trying to act like she knows about football, too funny. where's the proof, lets see it. instead all we get is crybabies that under performed and shouldve been sitting in the bleachers with peemohr13 cheering with the cheerleaders.

KUGreenMachine 10 years, 5 months ago

This article starts off, making sense as a counter article to the "Kipp" story, however the paragraph after the quotations by "Cole" turns this article in to crap. It was a good story until it turned in to an opinion piece by the writer. I was expecting that paragraph to be said by the player "Cole", but then realized it was merely the journalist's opinion, and then turns in to a big sloppy piece of crap opininion piece. The story doesn't flow...its like two stories in one. We have a great counter story in the begining and seriously the most incoherent bs ever written at the bottom. If it's going to be an opinion piece, make it clear at the begining. Come on, this is crap. Looks like you're taking the FOX NEWS definitition of Fair and Balanced reporting.... Very disappointing.

pmohr13 10 years, 5 months ago

O man this guy is good. He came up with peemohr13 all by himself. Dude you are as unoriginal as the "you're not in Kansas anymore" signs that you see at every KU away game. And get off the soccer comment it is getting old.

Mike Hart 10 years, 5 months ago

Professor Fate: You're an idiot. Hell yes Kansas football has been a program on the national scene in recent years. How quickly you forget the Orange Bowl... or the fact that we have been ranked the last 3 years (even though we didn't finish ranked this year). That's called being a national program. And trust me... had KU not ascended to heights never seen before in the last 3 years... this news story would have never made ESPN and ESPNews. Sorry, but I don't want Terry Allen or a similar type again. I won't crucify Mangino when I don't know all the facts. Let the damn investigation end before you bury Mangino.

yed 10 years, 5 months ago

It's good to hear a story from a player who was around during the change of regimes to offer perspective on where our program was when HCMM got here. Not only were we atrocious on the field, we had chalupa-gate, purse snatching-gate, just to name a couple. KU football was a joke of jokes.

Like Keegan says in his column here, this story likely will not have any impact on the impending doom of HCMM, but it would be a good idea for all of us to take a step back and appreciate the good things that he has done here. Yes, if the accusations are correct, he did abuse players and that is definitely grounds for dismissal...but the man did a whole hell of a lot of good for KU football while he's been here.

Thank you, Mark Mangino.

Rick Glover 10 years, 5 months ago

I feel the way the University and media has handle the investigation regarding Mangino's handling of athletes has not only damaged Mangino but the University too. Even if they find that Mangino has acted within normal coaching limits, they have destroyed him as a coach and they have to let him go. There is no way for him to effectively recruit after this personal gutting by the media. There is not a coach who would not have past players complain about how they were treated, in any program. What are we going to do, take a tally and if more players complain then we fire him or... This whole process should have been handled differently, more professionally. What coach would want to come to KU after we just destroyed our most successful coach.

KU_Alumn_2000 10 years, 5 months ago

"It’s too late for support voiced by former players to save Mangino’s job at Kansas"

Suggestion for the Lawrence Journal World - Remove Keegan and replace with Jesse Newell.

Dyrk Dugan 10 years, 5 months ago

this is what it comes down to for the LJW: at the last hour now, one article completely positive about the coaching methods; a 2nd article, couldn't be more negative.

you could truly have this about every coach. do you truly think that most coaches, haven't crossed the personal line? now, i admit, some of these physical abuse stories are over the line. but again, why didn't these kids speak up at the time? why didn't they speak up after the fact?

and i don't believe, that the athletic dept. was completely in the dark, until now, about all of this physical abuse evidence.

this was handled poorly all along. and now our football program, and the fans, will pay for it. Yes, i understand these kids have already paid for it....but the number is very few, and the verbal abuse should frankly, not even be considered.

i just want this done and over with. we need to move on!!!!! our program is at stake...we have a great recruiting class (possibly) coming in....this waiting game is an abomination!

if we're 4-8 next year, i blame Lew....and only Lew.

KU_Alumn_2000 10 years, 5 months ago

mvjayhawk says "why didn't these kids speak up at the time? why didn't they speak up after the fact? "

Thats because it takes less courage to kick a guy when he's on the ground. It's embarrassing to associate with people with that kind of integrity.

Joseph Kuebel 10 years, 5 months ago

Suggestion for the Lawrence Journal World - Remove Keegan and replace with Jesse Newell.

Joseph Kuebel 10 years, 5 months ago

He did take us to heights never before seen, but his time is up...

I'm glad Perkins is ensuring this investigation is thoroughly completed so we don't have to pay biggie, and the way he has handled this couldn't have been done any better...

First off by letting the "cat outta the bag" early, it has allowed us to contact other coaches, (which had been reported by Joe Shaad on November 29 that KU had already contacted 2 coaches they are interested in as head coach)...If espn reports this and KU (as several others on here mentioned Lew shouldn't have done anything until this whole thing is resolved) and Lew Perkins doesn't issue a statement, or says we are not going to listen to these accusations...

Is that what everyone wanted Perkins to do, instead of letting the cat out of the bag??? Does everyone know really how bad that would have made us look? I guess if you live on a farm you might not understand, but that doesn't fly with the rest of the world...

So for all of you who said "Perkins shouldn't have let this out"...well he didn't ever let this out... Never. This story was reported by LJW, and was all over the you people saying ANything in the world about him negative I'd love to hear what you would have done...would you have sat on your hands until a decision was certain (that way every future recruit in america would think we are racist as hell and are ok with these actions of Mangino, and also if he keeps this more "hush hush" we are screwed from the coaching end also???... which would have completely happened if Perkins didn't investigate.

So please tell me you Kstate fans (posing as KU fans) I'd love to hear what you would have done if you were Lew Perkins instead of what he has done. He has handled this situation with dignity and class, and because he is from the East Coast everyone is going to search for a reason to hate him...Stop hating on this man...He did NOTHING WRONG...

You have to give it up where credit is due and stop hating the man because he isn't from your state...he is trying to help us WIN, you know that right? Are you sure you know this? It really doesn't sound like it after reading some of these posts.

.....On the other hand, Mangino and his play calling and attitude doesn't seem like he was trying to help us win vs. Mizzou. I'll cheer for the guy who cares and knows how to treat other people with actual class or respect...Oh Yea, not to mention...the 1 that cares about beating my bitter hated Mizzou aka the biggest game of the year. Or "our superbowl"....thanks for not caring and throwing it out the window. Way to teach them that "toughness, and pride" by example.

Perkins had no choice but to let everyone know the claims of players he supposed to say nothing that way we can lose every possible recruit? As an AD you damn well better be paying attention to what your athletes are telling you...particularly if they are as severe as this.

Joseph Kuebel 10 years, 5 months ago

Please please let me know what he did so wrong?

I'd love to hear it!

Kit Duncan 10 years, 5 months ago


I'm with you. Please everyone tell us what Coach did that was so wrong! Prove it!

Now I'm not saying the program should be run like Marine Boot camp, Navy BUDS training, Army Ranger or SF training, but these kids are treated with kid gloves compared to those military training programs! Life and death preparation compared to playing a game (albeit a violent game) on a playing field requires that military recruits be subjected to some extremely harsh treatment (including some recruits being given water-boarding).

These kids who are whining about their treatment, (including Cory Kipp) haven't been subjected to real abuse during their lives. I'm sorry for Cory's injuries and don't condone what happened, but had he been going through the military programs listed above he would have gotten neither an apology nor an easier workload after the fact. In combat his injuries would have been deemed superficial and he would have been treated for those injuries just as he was and put back into the fight.

To speak out now and say he would have forgiven Coach Mangino if only he had apologized at the time is specious at best and completely false at worst.

jhox 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm a Mangino fan...wish all of this hadn't come up, but the genie is out of the bottle, and there is no putting it back. He's permanently crippled as a recruiter. He needs to go, and we need to move on. Hopefully he'll land elsewhere, and next time he'll have a better feel for where to draw the line on discipline.

As for the Perkin's haters, I suspect most of you are still ticked off that he moved your seats in Allen Field House because you were not making adequate donations. Get over it already. I've been following KU athletics since 1969, and this is far and away the best athletic administration the school has ever had. Just look at the facilities upgrades, the success of the basketball program, and all of the bowl games we've gone to the past few years. Those bowl games wouldn't have happened without the finanical support the football program has been getting. I doubt Perkins wanted this to play out this way any more than I did, but when you're dealt this sort of hand, you have to address it.

I'm sick of the Lawrence local yocals who are still bagging on Perkins because he took their prime seats away. It was an unfortunate necessity if we were to improve facilities and become competitive in sports other than Men's basketball. Perkins didn't create this mess...Mangino did, by not knowing where to draw the line between discipline and unreasonable cruelity.

kureader 10 years, 5 months ago

navyhawk, I think you and calihawk33 are talking about two different guys?

kureader 10 years, 5 months ago

jhox, so you're giving Lew the credit for the financial successes of the program? I'm giving more to program than ever. Based on the level of giving, it's clear that many of us understand that money makes things happen. But, I can promise you my contributions have nothing to do with Lew Perkins ... I'm one of hundreds of alums who love KU and are doing what we can to help out in spite of Lew Perkins.

kureader 10 years, 5 months ago

jhox, you've credited Lew for winning football games, but you blame Mangino for losing them. Guess you're an administrator? And Mangino should be fired for "unreasonable cruelity?" (your spelling) Would you keep Mangino around if his "cruelity" was "reasonable?"

Steve Brown 10 years, 5 months ago

My brother claims Lew is the one heavy handed and he supports Mark Cellar Dwellar Mangino for life time contract.

  1. He likes the new exciting offense we run.
  2. He likes the full stadium
  3. He does not like driving to Missouri for the Missouri game every year, and he won't let this die.
  4. His seats in AFH were moved to Alaska but he has binoculars.
  5. He gives more to the WFund every year.
  6. He claims MM has a winning record.
  7. He went to the orange bowl.
  8. He thinks the abuse is not as bad as reported and from some whiney pansey kids and their parents.
  9. He says coach didn't fumble, throw the ball to other team, or drop the balls.

Layne Pierce 10 years, 5 months ago


Your brother apparently is happy with stage 2 of 3 stage process. Stage 1, stop KU from being a laughingstock of college football. State 2 become respectable, to the point where we can think of going to a bowl game every year or so, Stage 3, compete for the division championship every other year, and go to a bowl game every year.

MM has convinced me that he cannot get to Stage 3, he is taking us back to stage 1. This team underachieved this year, and this coaching staff underachieved, and Lew Perkins will underachieve if he allows it to go on. Coaching will be even more important next year. There will not be anyone to throw for 498 yards.

Just to get to a bowl game next year will require coaching of every fundamental. Every player coming back will have to improve, just to keep us from being embarassed.

This team desperately needed a bowl game, not for the glory, but for the additional month of practice. We are a month behind already next year. For a coach who changed the defense and the offense more than half way into the season last year, that is too much of a deficit.

I feel a Ted Owens malaise creeping into the program, and so we are faced with a choice, fight for the fact that the program because of the improvement in salary and facilities really can get to stage 3, or just accept it cannot be done on a constant basis, cut Mangino's salary back to 800,000, and hire better assistant coaches with the difference.

You tell me, or have your brother tell me, which of those you want.

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