Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ex-players respond to Mangino news

Jayhawk standout Charles Gordon talks with head coach Mark Mangino after the 2009 Spring Game Saturday, April 11, 2009 at Memorial Stadium.

Jayhawk standout Charles Gordon talks with head coach Mark Mangino after the 2009 Spring Game Saturday, April 11, 2009 at Memorial Stadium.


Twenty-four hours after Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino’s resignation, former players are still trying to come to grips with the fact that the man considered widely responsible for transforming the program from doormat to Big 12 North contender is officially gone.

With Thursday’s announcement that Mangino and the university had agreed to an undisclosed settlement, the news has flooded through the media, reaching former players at different intervals, and prompting the realization that, for the first time in eight years, the coach they call “Bear” won’t be stalking the Memorial Stadium sidelines.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said former defensive back/receiver Charles Gordon, who developed into a future NFL player under Mangino. “I just thought that it’s unfortunate. It’s an unfortunate situation. For him, the program, the kids, for everyone involved, it was just a terrible situation.”

Two years ago, this was all so unthinkable.

Whatever your stance on the coach’s methods — there seem to be two: pro and con — there’s no denying the fact that, under his watch, the program took a giant leap forward. Mangino molded his team in his own image — tough, disciplined, intense — and the result was an unprecedented level of success.

Regular bowl eligibility. Back-to-back bowl victories. A 2007 season in which the Jayhawks finished 12-1, finished with a No. 7 national ranking, and Mangino was named the national coach of the year.

Self, Briscoe comment on Mangino resignation

Departing wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe and Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self commented Friday on the news of Mark Mangino's resignation.

There were other things, too. Sold-out crowds and spikes in graduation rate and program grade-point-averages.

Things seemed to be rolling along splendidly.

Now, though, it’s all so different.

Following a seven-game losing streak to end the season — and the the internal university investigation that led to sometimes-disturbing allegations of verbal and physical abuse on the part of the coach — Kansas enters a stretch of uncertainty.

Returning players don’t know who they’ll be playing for next season. Recruiting is on kind of a temporary holding pattern. And a trio of interim coaches — Clint Bowen, Bill Miller and David Beaty — are left to wonder whether they’ll be with the program a month from now.

According to a source close to Lew Perkins, the athletic director will accompany KU quarterback Todd Reesing to the National Football Foundation’s annual awards dinner on Tuesday in New York City, an event that annually draws some of the biggest names — coaching and otherwise — in college football.

While there, the source said, Perkins figures to make strides in his search for a new football coach.

Since Mangino’s resignation was announced Thursday, Perkins has said little in regards to possible replacements, other than insisting he hadn’t spoken to any coaches before Thursday night and describing the KU opening as a much-desirable position.

He did say, however, that he always has a short-list of candidates ready in case of an emergency.

“God forbid something should happen to a coach, you always have to have a group of names (ready),” he said during a short meeting with the media Thursday night. “But every year they change, because people get jobs and people leave.”

The search process, meanwhile, will likely be followed closely by former players.

“Me being from KU and graduating, I want to see success as much as anyone else,” said former linebacker Mike Rivera, now with the Tennessee Titans. “Now the next step is obviously finding another coach, someone who’s going to be able to lead this program to the next level. It’s going to take awhile. It’s basically starting from scratch, is the way I see it. They got a lot of work ahead of them. They’re not just going to get back to the Orange Bowl in a couple years. It’s going to take awhile.”

For the moment, though, Gordon said he was still trying to digest Thursday’s news that the Mark Mangino era at Kansas had run its course.

“(Mangino) turned the program around,” Gordon said. “... He had a plan, and he let us all in on what his plan was as the years passed. And everything about Kansas football is better because of him. I couldn’t quite believe (the news). It still feels so surreal right now.

“I’m just speechless.”

Fedora mum on future plans

Larry Fedora, head coach at Southern Mississippi, said Friday that his focus is on his team’s upcoming bowl game and not speculation that he is a candidate for the vacant head coaching spot at Kansas.

“I’m not going to comment on Internet rumors or job speculation out there on this one or any other one in the future,” Fedora told the Hattiesburg American. “My main focus is taking the team to the (12th bowl game in the last 13 seasons) and making sure our seniors go out with an eighth win. This team deserves all my attention.”

Fedora, in his second season with the Golden Eagles, is one of a handful of coaches — along with Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh, Connecticut’s Randy Edsall and Houston’s Kevin Sumlin, among others — rumored as possible replacements for Mangino.

Noted as an up-and-coming coach with strong recruiting ties in Texas, Fedora is 14-11 at Southern Miss. and is familiar with the Big 12, having served three seasons as the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State.

This season, his Golden Eagles lost 35-28 to Kansas in Lawrence.

KU’s Self reacts to Mangino resignation

Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self has yet to speak with Mangino since the coach’s recent departure, but intends to do so in the near future.

“I haven’t spoken with him yet. I’m sure I will at some point in time — soon I hope,” Self said Friday in Allen Fieldhouse. “That’s obviously a unique situation. I don’t know if there are any winners in the situation. I certainly feel bad for Mark and his staff from a personal standpoint. There’s no question about it.

“I think all coaches always feel bad when a situation like that occurs,” he added. “I think that’s the natural reaction. On the flip side, I have total faith in our administration as well. I hope somehow it can be a win/win for everybody certainly. I don’t know if that’s the case or will be the case. I think only time will tell. I certainly respect the job Mark and his staff have done. There’s no question about that.”


sonyasilvia05 10 years, 4 months ago

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

prairie_dog 10 years, 4 months ago

"Recruiting is on kind of a temporary holding pattern."?????

Are you NUTS? We are probably losing a recruit per day; it's just not being announced yet.

Oh, I know, we are telling recruits to come because "KU is a great basketball school."


yates33333 10 years, 4 months ago

The LJW policy that led to sonyasilvia05's comment being removed is bad business. We are all adults and need not be censored. If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen. I also think the way Mangino was handled is bad, bad business. Here we go again into the pits.

Viggo3003 10 years, 4 months ago

Hey LJW just quit writing your self serving "positive" stories about Mangino. YOU were complicit in attacking and destroying Mangino so don't try to act like your above it. I'd love to see Mangino sue you and get about 20 million.

Bill Kackley 10 years, 4 months ago

I don't expect it to take a long time, Mangino left the cupboard far from bare. If Lew doesn't get the coach that can take us to at least 8-4 next year and 9-3 or 10-2 the next he has failed miserable and should be on his way back to the East Coast
goodbye Lew

KUBlue0809 10 years, 4 months ago

Kackley.... the cupboard is half empty. We return 0 playmakers, but a host of experienced "fill ins". Lew is one hell of a business man, and to have anything but faith in him is absurd. We do have the easier side of the Big XII south next year, but 9 or 10 wins? Probably not.

drewdun 10 years, 4 months ago

Hey Dugan, in the interest of accuracy, your article should've began as follows (correction is in brackets):

"former players are still trying to come to grips with the fact that the man considered widely responsible for transforming the program from doormat to Big 12 North contender [to doormat] is officially gone."

As for the cupboard being "far from bare": if this is, in fact, the case, can you explain to me our absolutely putrid secondary and non-existent linebackers? I guess he was just holding back all of that talent he's been bringing in from seeing the field. Right.

areyouserious 10 years, 4 months ago

63 Jayhawk- That article says it all. While I want to be thankful for what he did for the KU program, I am sick to think about how he accomplished it, by being such a d**k to everyone he came into contact with. Thank you MM, but good riddance!

The last sentence of the rivals article is what I will remember him for! No friends!

jhokfan 10 years, 4 months ago

Say what you will about Mangino, he didn't recruit the criminal element like Warden Tom and the improvement in academic performance is no coincidence.

Tricky Gnosis 10 years, 4 months ago


Jason King's piece on the Mangino hiring is how good sportswriting is done. Context, clarity, and words that evoke visual images. Everyone needs to read the link from 63Jayhawk, because it's a better explanation of the Mangino firing than anything that's been in LJW.

waywardJay 10 years, 4 months ago

i disagree with the fan criticizing marchiony..... He absolutely handled this right.... with success he rewarded mangino even if he was hardly bearable.... with lack of success he got rid of him after the season ended..... but kept enough people to keep us functional,.....

here's to a quick resolution to our coaching sitch and a good turnaround...

David Serven 10 years, 4 months ago

Perkins should be talking to Harbough ASAP. He did a great job at USD in California and everyone knows what he's done at Stanford. He's a gentleman and a winner wherever he goes. Get him before the "domers" make him an offer...

Michael Mulvihill 10 years, 4 months ago

just heard on the FL - bama pre game turner gill is interviewing tommorow

jayhawkboogeyman 10 years, 4 months ago

Let's stop with the Big XII North contenders claims. We finished dead last this year. Sure we've been close, but always managed to blow it in winnble games every year. And the team this year was not intense or tough. They were pathetic tacklers and showed almost no enthusiasm. Not to mention they were dreadfully unprepared.

Larry Ewart 10 years, 4 months ago

Quite honestly I do not know why Lew and KU would not at least interview Fulmer. His overall record 152-52, National Title, Sec Championships why wouldn't we want someone with that resume. The other coaches that everyone keeps talking about virtually have coached to .500 records where they are at right now. Even his last year which was around .500 he had the fourth rated defense in the country. He is well respected throughout college football and would bring in outstanding coaches who have proven they know how to win. Can Gill bring an outstanding coaching staff, I think not. We do not need coaches from the MAC conference. SEC coaches would kick butt here in the Big 12. Fulmer can recruit nationally, he has proven it while at Tennessee, he has strong connections to Florida which I am sure he could bring some of that talent here. Also, Fulmer is known for his ability to raise money for various programs which Lew needs desperately right now. So what if he is 59 or 60 at least he will stay and possibly groom our next head coach. KU fb has never had a head coach stay more than 8 years or so anyway. Mangino was not a class act and he was terrible at the podium. Fulmer is outstanding in that environment and is just a quality person.

Jesse Newell 10 years, 4 months ago

yates33333 — Sonyasilvia05's comment was a spam message.

Tyler Bruce 10 years, 4 months ago

can we please go after Tommy Tuberville? hes the best coach out there and he wants to coach again.. in a BCS conference! we'll pay him a bunch of money to continue what Mangino started and to take us to higher places! otherwise we should go after Mullen from Mississippi St, Sumlin from Houston, or i would even be happy with Venables even tho we probly cant get him.. NOT EDSELL OR GILL!!!!!

Steve Brown 10 years, 4 months ago

nature of the game, a host of coaches and their agents will show interest in this job, some of which will use our flirting with them to enhance their current school contract.

Our opening will get some folks a nice raise that we may want to talk with, yet wouldn't make a final cut offer. so be it.

The rules of the dance are clear cut: the folks behind the scenes know how the game isplayed.

Only 1% of college players get to play on Sundays, yet they all think they can, that is why someone w. NFL experience has some extra value for those hopeful recruits.

18 months from know the defenders won't recall how to spell Madgihno.

babyjay1 10 years, 4 months ago

Go Texas - Want a Big 12 team in NC game and I'd root for anyone playing against NU....

KURocksChalk 10 years, 4 months ago

Turner Gill? No, please, no. He is 20-30 as a head coach, has hardly built a program.

shelleysue 10 years, 4 months ago

A great defensive coordinator ready for a HC job please.

Why do we want conf USA coach that hasn't proven all that much? I'm just asking. I don't follow coaches much but I'm not seeing much there.

Tom McPhillips 10 years, 3 months ago

It doesn't matter who they interview or try to hire. The simple fact is that the AD and the school are not willing to make the commitment necessary for a top division 1 football team. It will be next to impossible to get a top rated coach in here, especially after what happened to Mangino. When a bunch of narcissistic "Feminized Pansie Boys" can get a high caliber coach removed just by complaining about being "yelled at" and having a "finger" pointed in their chests, no decent coach in their right mind will consider coming to KU. (I'm beginning to understand the animosity that the basketball players had toward the football players now, they understand what it takes to makes a "WINNING" program instead of a "whining" program) The school and the AD deserve to have another 10-20 years of football obscurity for this dimwitted fiasco. I just hope he has sense enough not to screw around with the BB program.

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