Monday, November 23, 2009

Texas Tech’s Leach calls Mangino investigation ‘witch hunt’

Texas Tech coach Mike Leach directs his team against Texas A&M in this file photo from Oct. 18 in College Station, Texas.

Texas Tech coach Mike Leach directs his team against Texas A&M in this file photo from Oct. 18 in College Station, Texas.


Speaking out about the investigation into the actions of Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino, current Texas Tech coach Mike Leach said he feels the situation is a "witch hunt" and offered his support of the Jayhawks' embattled coach.

"Heaven forbid somebody should ask a (player) to pay attention and focus in for the sake of all his teammates and coaches and everyone else," Leach said during Monday morning's Big 12 coaches teleconference. "Well, there’s different ways to ask a guy to do that, and sometimes, after you’ve asked him a number of times, you raise the bar.

"The mean man told some player something he didn’t want to hear," he added, in mock horror. "Well, there’s a mean man in Lubbock that tells people stuff they don’t want to hear, too, and that’s just part of it.”

Leach served as an assistant with Mangino at Oklahoma under head coach Bob Stoops in 1999.

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder, meanwhile, said incidents like the ones described by former players in recent days likely didn't occur when Mangino served under Snyder for eight years at K-State.

"That didn't happen to my knowledge," Snyder said. "Not a whole lot slips under the radar from that respect. He handled the players well."

Stoops, while reserving comment on the specific allegations, indicated that Mangino always cared for his players' well-being.

“He was very close with them, appreciated them, did everything that was appropriate,” Stoops said.


Joel Hood 11 years, 2 months ago

Oh wow. I didn't know Lori Williams shared all the details of her investigation with Mike Leach. I also didn't know his opinion was relevant. But then again, what the heck else is any other head coach supposed to say when asked.

Jim Sanders 11 years, 2 months ago

Lew will be hard pressed to find another coach that wants to come to KU and report to him. Lew should take notes on how ND is handling Weis situation. High profile position and not a word. If Lew would have just fired Mangino at the conclusion of the season, everyone would have just figured it was coming. The way this is being handled is an HR nightmare. With serveral big time jobs likely to open up, it will be interesting as to what assistant coach Lew can convince to come to Kansas. Win a National Championship or be fired. Bowl games and sold out stadiums are not enough for this football powerhouse dynasty that Perkins created and Mangino found that out after potentially leading KU to its first 3 straight bowls and BCS Championship.

Thanks Lew for all you do. Thanks for winning all these games for us. Thanks for making KU Athletics unafordable for the true fans. Now you must answer to the greedy dollar of all your buddies and fire the one that brought KU back.

K who? KU! K Who? K Lew.

Rivethead 11 years, 2 months ago

Lori Williams didn't have to share anything with Leach for him to draw the conclusion that this is a witch hunt. Just look at what has already been done publicly.

Whether it is or not, it definitely has the appearance of a witch hunt.

Danny Reece 11 years, 2 months ago

I just became a Leach fan...In no way should Mangino be fired for doing his job..If he pokes a kid in the chest so bid..Perkins "Big Bird" S/B the one to get the BOOT...KU will never replace as good as Coach as " Mark Mangino" EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Warren 11 years, 2 months ago

Wait, the witch hunt is by the KU athletic department, and NOT the LJW? Now I am really confused.

tulsahawkfan 11 years, 2 months ago

This is a witch hunt and embarrassing unless something else major is revealed. From what we've heard so far, the whole situation is ridiculous.

ginger2015 11 years, 2 months ago

joel: His opinion is as relevant as yours.

Tribehawk 11 years, 2 months ago

I'll be interested to see what Leach says at the end of this investigation rather than at the beginning. I think that will be much more telling. Every coach knows that what happens with Mangino based on what the investigation finds will be precedent setting. None of these coaches want to go on the record acknowledging that Mangino has done enough to deserve getting fired yet because most of them engage in hard-nosed, "old-school" tactics themselves. If they publicy suggest that Mangino went too far, they will put themselves and their own programs under the microscope. Ironically, (or perhaps purposely) by supporting Mangino this early in the investigation, these coaches will almost insure that the investigation will turn up big time dirt on Mangino that will justify his firing--much more than has been so far reported. At that point, the coaches will reverse ground and agree that a line was crossed... once they all know exactly where that line is and are sure they have never crossed it themselves. Until then, they will fight for Mangino to protect themselves. This is all predictable posturing right now.

d_prowess 11 years, 2 months ago

Leach knows no more than anyone on these boards. And I still question whether anyone will really know the whole situation after everything plays out. These types of things don't seem to really get totally aired out after the fact.

Eliott Reeder 11 years, 2 months ago

Actually, it is more relevant because Leach is a colleague in the Big XII and an acquaintance of Mark Mangino, having coached together at one time...

Eliott Reeder 11 years, 2 months ago

I agree with Tribe to an extent, but if you look at the record of Mike Leach, he has never been one to withhold his true opinion on any matter. He has often been under the gun himself for 'inappropriate behavior' and has always maintained his same nutty personality regardless. I have been a Leach fan for years, ever since I saw stuff like this:

and this:

And all the other wacky stuff on YouTube. The man is freakin' crazy. If I were to somehow go back in time and develop D-I athletic ability, I would want to play for a guy like Mike Leach.

Steve Brown 11 years, 2 months ago

the man that shared a regular table at the Lubbock Waffle House with Bobby Knight.

just saying.

James Hubin 11 years, 2 months ago

I doubt Leach uses the tactics utilized by Mangino. Leach seems to have a great personality and does a bit more winning then Mangino could ever dream about. If Leach were coaching at KU, he would be in the Big 12 Championship yearly, instead of fighting his way to the middle of pack in south every year.

prairie_rattler 11 years, 2 months ago

That Mangino is getting fired for poking Arist and belittling players is just icing on the cake. The more compelling reasons are his gross obesity (little self-respect and/or discipline) and for losing five games in a row (most notably to K-State [I know it's been 6 loses, but the decision was made prior to playing Texas]) with the arsenal he had at his disposal. I'm not ready to give him much credit for the Orange Bowl season, after the seasons he has had before and after. Hell, he never recognized Reesing's talents or he would have had him starting ahead of Meier to begin with. Lew will pay the $$ to get someone much better than Mangino. Though, I do wish KU athletics would pay him his $6 million and split amicably. Better day are ahead! KU has had several better coaches already... including Mason, Rogers, Mitchell, and Fambrough.

Joel Hood 11 years, 2 months ago

Nice post Captain Obvious, er, ginger. The difference is that no one cares what my opinion is. Mike Leach represents a major university in the Big 12. He holds a position of influence and reputation. I don’t know all the details behind the investigation, but I do know that Mike Leach doesn't know either. I’d bet there is a lot more going on than any of us message board monkeys realize.

But, that’s all I am, just another anonymous monkey who can type. Mike Leach expressed an opinion – an uninformed opinion – because he can’t know all the facts regarding Mangino’s situation at KU. When Kentucky fired Billy Clyde, Bill Self had sense enough to give his support to Billy Clyde, but he did not lambaste UK. It would be irresponsible of someone of Self’s position to do so, especially without knowing ALL the facts. If I were the Texas Tech AD, I would not be happy with Leach for using the term "witch hunt".

(now, has anyone seen my banana?)

100 11 years, 2 months ago

I posted this yesterday, albeit a bit late...

For those of us wondering who we really are -- here's the answer, for all time -- no matter what year, decade or millenium.

jhokfan 11 years, 2 months ago

Most people in the football world are not appalled at the accusations made against Mangino. Most coaches are playing it safe. It would not be in their best interest to support Mangino and run the risk of losing recruits.


Rogers and Mitchell are before my time but I think Mangino is clearly a better coach than Mason or Fambrough. Rogers went 1-9 and winless in the conference after his Orange Bowl season.

BCRavenJHawkfan 11 years, 2 months ago

It's not just Leach standing up for Mangino. Mac Brown threw his support to Manigino as well. I believe Stoups did too. The coaching fraternity is coveying together. Face it, if this plays out and Mangino is fired for these allegations (right or wrong), coaches all across the country are going to feel like the players have them by the short and curley's. Ouch! Remember, this isn't like the Bobby Knight or Woody Hayes incedents where there was irrefutable video evidence. All of a sudden this can make hearsay fact and many coaches nervous.

Bill Kackley 11 years, 2 months ago

again saidtoomuch you said to much How do you think winning football at KU is as easy or easier than in Texas. Get a clue.

Bill Kackley 11 years, 2 months ago

again saidtoomuch you said to much How do you think winning football at KU is as easy or easier than in Texas. Get a clue. prairie_rattler You just hit the nail on the head most of the Magino haters don't dislike his coaching , but don't like the fact that he is so overweight. Talk about discrimination. As far as those four coaches mentioned I was around for all of them and I don't think any of them were better than Magino. I remember the student chant about Jack Mitchell "Give'm hell, Jack Mitchel, Givee'm hell Jack Mitchell, Hell givem Jack Mitchell

jahawkdave 11 years, 2 months ago

Of course Leach is defending Mangino, it's a W everytime he sees us on the schedule. If these guys are so supportive of MM why have they waited until they were asked by the media before they voiced their support. Where are all the former or current assts. coming forward to defend him or say these negative reports are embelished or didn't occur?

I have heard nothing but negatives about MM and the type of person he is and how he treats people forever. I have heard worse rumors about his temper and abusive nature that have not been reported and may not be true, but if he walks like a duck, smells like a duck, quacks like a duck... He's a frickin' duck!

Regardless of how this has been handled, or what Leach or kusports posters think, the damage has been done. MM has to go and we can do better. Will we get OB 12-1 lucky again? Probably not, but we can be better in conf. and against legitamate opponents.

jerhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

i went to ttu, and my heart bleeds blue and crimson- but it does me proud the man would say that! ttu is a close 2nd. rock chalk

d_prowess 11 years, 2 months ago

BCRavenJHawkfan: I think there is a big difference between a single report or two from a player and the type of statements that are being made by a pretty good number of former players. So I think unless you are grossly in the wrong with your behavior, not too many coaches are really seeing the KU situation as a power shift from coaches to players. And remember, we have only heard from some players so far. There is a good chance that more might be willing to tell their stories after the investigation has wrapped up.

Overall, I guess I am surprised at how many people are so passionate about supporting a coach that so far seems to have a lot of baggage coming down on him from reliable sources.

scourge74 11 years, 2 months ago

I would think the reliable sources should and would be Stoops, Leach and Snyder. These men are testifying to the character of Mangino. They know him. If the best coach in the history of the program gets fired.........they have seen the last of my $. Perkins can KMA.

inkcube 11 years, 2 months ago

It is a witch hunt. I grew up in a coaching family, from high school to college, intensity is a given and sometimes, like Leach said, to get the point across with someone who just doesn't get it you need to step it up a notch. Imagine how good KU would be if Mangino treated them like kindergartners. I would bet nearly every football player could cry foul if they really thought about it.

txjhawk77 11 years, 2 months ago

In situations like this where the case is tried in the court of public opinion there are no winners. The coach loses. The AD loses. The institution loses. The fans lose.

To those who feel it necessary to be spiteful about Mark Mangino's weight (or anything else irrelevant for that matter) it's time to hold your tongue. It adds nothing. It only shows your (im)maturity.

BCRavenJHawkfan 11 years, 2 months ago


Overall I agree. I guess what gets my attention from the comments of Stoups, Snyder, Leach, et al, is if Mangino was a model coach as an assistant WTF happened to change that?

Lone_salina_kufan 11 years, 2 months ago

It actually is relevant what his colleagues think. As scourge74 pointed out, its a character witness. Not only that, it also shows a glimpse on whether or not this will be a negative or a huge negative on the recruiting trail. It smacks of a witch hunt, but one big thing is being overlooked...

If its untrue, then what happened this season. It is pretty clear to me SOMETHING happened for these kids to basically quit on Mangino. It's an odd coincidence that the Arist thing happened on the walkthrough for Colorado, and it showed in the game that they were not right. And it has only spiraled down since. What other explanation could there be?

I have long been a Mangino fan, and still am. But I am getting worried that all of these things playing out in the public has brought us to the "point of know return" (Kansas reference)

Cheezy, but it was teed up for me.

thmdmph 11 years, 2 months ago

I'd rather be poked in the chest than be gently padded on the bottom by the giant.

okiedave 11 years, 2 months ago

Leach says what he thinks and does not give a @#&* what others think about what he says. West Texas folks like that.

If you are winning, an obese coach is a chubby teddy bear. If you are losing every flaw is magnified and "chubby teddy bear" turns into "undisciplined example". Mangino is a winner and a good coach. We were three fumbles, and three interceptions and six blown coverages and three penalties from winning the Big XII North this year. None of which were within the direct control of Mangino.

Winning solves a lot of issues. I hope that Mangino is offered another year, and if not, an offer to stay at K.U. in some other capacity using his hard work and talents. In a less stressful atmosphere perhaps he will be able to concentrate on his physical health. May God bless Head Coach Mike Mangino and K.U. football.

Dan Pawlowski 11 years, 2 months ago

I heard a lot of insulting garbage coming out of the mouth of my football coach in Junior High. Most of the time it made me mad and play harder. Did MM go over the line? If what is reported is true then he probably was a little insensitive. But these are grown men. Not Junior High kids. We didn't whine then and the men shouldn't whine now. Anybody that has played football will have similar stories to tell. There is no crying in football. Lew has handled this in a terrible manner. Who would want to work for Lew now? I don't buy that the players have quit on Mangino. For the first half of the Texas game we hung in there and as much as we would like to think not, Texas is pretty damn good. No matter what , the University is not going to come out of this one looking good.

actorman 11 years, 2 months ago

The great majority of you are absolutely pathetic. There's simply no other word for it. Thank God there are people like Jayhawk Dave who actually have some sense and understand the difference between discipline and abuse.

And for the majority of you who continue to harp on how tough football and its players are supposed to be, let me ask you this: does that "toughness" apply to non-players as wel, such as students whose job it is to give parking tickets. Because if the allegation is true (and it seems highly likely that it is), Mangino threated and intimidated a student who was simply doing his job giving him a ticket (which oh by the way Mangino has gotten over 20 of). Then there are the numerous other examples of him trying to use his position to intimidate or harass other people and justify his inexcusable actions. These things are completely apart from football. So even if you're right about him not treating his players particularly harshly (which I don't believe you are), does he have the right to treat anyone else he comes across the same way?

As for his "coaching," let me ask you, okiedave: does Mangino have control over play-calling? Over using an injured Sharp over Oporum in the Colorado game, even after Oporum had proven he could do the job? Over blasting a kickoff from the other team's 40-yard-line and wasting a golden opportunity? Or over any one of the numerous other bizarre and inexplicable decisions he's made over the years.

He's toast, and he absolutely deserves it. I can't wait to see him gone. And for those of you who are so sure we won't get anyone else as good and say you won't give any more money, good riddance. If you're stupid enough to think that someone with Lew Perkins's connections and influence won't get us an excellent coach, then you don't deserve to call yourself a KU fan.

okiedave 11 years, 2 months ago

Actorman, what are you doing up at 3:09 a.m.? 20/20 hindsight seems to pretty good at that hour.

troutsee 11 years, 2 months ago

Actorman--you are right on. MM has to go and the sooner the better. The only speed bump is the 6M. However, we may be able to negotioate this down or pay it out over time. Lew does have to move fairly quickly and decide one way or the other. I am among those of you who think that the damage is already done.

As another poster pointed out a few days ago, TA's winning percentage against the B12 over 5 years was 37%. MM over 8 years has around a 37% winning record against the B12. We have 4 wins against the B12 8 years...8 years for heavens sake. We only have a winning record against two B12 schools, ISU and MU, and the latter is only 4-3, soon to be 4-4. We were ready to tar and feather TA and yet MM has his defenders. Many of the defenders think that he is getting a "raw" deal and perhaps he is. I guess we'll soon find out. Raw deal or no raw deal, it's time to move on. Incidently, I have not heard Bill Young or Tovar utter supportive words for their former head coach. I think another former assistant coach, Beck, is at NU.

There is a fraternity among coaches. Of course, none of the HCs of other schools are going to voice their approval of MM. They all stick together.

Lew, is doing the right thing. The poster boy of KU football must go. And soon.

actorman 11 years, 2 months ago

Thanks troutsee. And excellent points about his record. I didn't even realize how close his numbers were to TA's.

okiedave, it's not as bad as you think; it was only 1:09 my time. Besides, with a name like actorman, wouldn't you expect me to keep late hours?

actorman 11 years, 2 months ago

And BTW, it's not exactly 20-20 hindsight on my part. I've been questioning his strange decisions for years, even during the OB season. And as I said in another thread, I was in denial about all the horrible stories I'd heard about him from various sources over the years. Because of the one glorious season, I overlooked some dreadful things he was doing, for which I'm ashamed. I guess it's a good lesson about how easy it is to succumb to the mindset that if a coach wins he can get away with virtually anything.

coolhand357 11 years, 2 months ago

I hear Bill Calahan has been contacted. Lew and him go way back... Soooo. How 'bout we all have some roast Tiger for Thanksgiving this year? Any objections? Missouri......Must......Die.

Dan Pawlowski 11 years, 2 months ago

Gee, someone berated a parking attendant and then was forced to apologize. Sounds like that is a non issue.

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