Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mark Mangino breaks silence in newspaper interview


Former Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino conducted his first newspaper interview since losing his job after the 2009 season.

“It was tough on us all, but especially on my wife and daughter,” Mangino told the New Castle (Pa.) News of his final weeks on the job. “You try to protect your family the best you can because it was me that people were targeting, yet they had to bear the brunt of a lot of it. They didn’t sign on for this, I did. The cruelty at times was really unfair to them.”

KU bought out Mangino’s contract for $3 million, an agreement that included a clause barring Mangino from making critical comments.

“But I don’t choose to go that route anyway,” Mangino told the New Castle Times. “When I look back on my time at Kansas, I want to remember the positive, not dwell on the negative. I’m very proud of my time there.”

Mangino said he would like to coach again.


Chris Bruning 8 years, 11 months ago

thanks for 2007 Mangino.....other than that i have to say i think we have something bigger and better brewing with our new coach TURNER GILL!!!!!

Jeremy Bolinger 8 years, 11 months ago

How can you honestly say this? Did you watch any football games last season? We fired a coach who had a better record in the Big 12 and replaced him with a coach from the Mac with a worse record. Gill has shown me nothing.

lawrence_is_my_middle_name 8 years, 10 months ago

At least we were competitive. What the heck do you expect? A bowl game every year?? This is Kansas football, not Nebraska or Texas. I believe Mangino was the first coach to bring us back-to-back bowl wins ever, so please have a bit of perspective.

hailtoku 8 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, remember when 5 wins was disappointing!?

Oh those were the days.

hailtoku 8 years, 10 months ago

In order for Gill to be better, he would have to turn into the greatest coach OF ALL TIME at KU.

If Gill is going to compete with Mangino's legacy he is going to have to win a bowl game THIS YEAR.

Gill is a position coach ... Not a head coach.

1957 8 years, 10 months ago

Gill may not make it but he has a much higher mountain to climb with the new schedule. Mangino did not face all the south schools each year so hard to compare.

Also to be the greatest football coach of all time at KU is a pretty low bar.

hawk316 8 years, 10 months ago

RCJ, I agree with you! I think we definitely have a winner in Gill. I love his coaching philosophy, the way he conducts himself and how he treats his players with dignity and respect. Quite simply, He inspires. And as I have written before, he has surrounded himself with an excellent coaching staff. Based on their track record (and what they are now bringing in), they are excellent recruiters. If the fan base will be patient during two or three years of growing pains, they will see this program improve dramatically, I believe.

Kevin Studer 8 years, 11 months ago

Whether on not we are headed for better things under Gill is a total freaking mystery at this point.

waywardJay 8 years, 10 months ago

A total Mystery... Sure.... But I have already seen quite a few positives out of it.

Ted Toulouse 8 years, 11 months ago

Sad. Of course we know now that Perkins was on a witch hunt. The collapse on the field in 2009 was rough and shouldn't have happened, but I think that Mangino would have found a way to right the ship. His loyalty to his 2007 players was the downfall because he didn't continue to recruit players that would challenge them. The fact that he brought us to that 2007 level showed what kind of a coach he was, it just would have been interesting to see how he would have come out of that success and continue to build the program.

C'est la vie

selfishhawk 8 years, 11 months ago

+100. I am hopeful for the Turner Gill era. But I wouldn't hate to see Mangino on the sidelines again.

eastcoasthawk 8 years, 11 months ago

The one time I was in Lawrence with him as head coach I bought the Fighting Mangino shirt so I will always thank Coach M for all he did for this program. He did more than any coach I've known since I attended KU 34 years ago. I really like the part about how it gave him time for his family. Even after all the anguish, it must have been nice to step away from the limelight and I'm sure the buyout was able to cover some living expenses. Thanks for the link LJW and best of luck to you coach. I can only hope that Turner Gill is able to reach the heights and love from everyone KU you brought to the program.

Brad Avery 8 years, 11 months ago

I miss the big man, but I do wonder if he had survived Perkins' old guy hormone crisis, what the heck he planned to do about a quarterback. Then again, I still miss Roy Williams, so I guess my vote really doesn't count!

Rivethead 8 years, 11 months ago

Coach Mangino's last recruiting class is still our highest ranked recruiting class ever. That's far from "completely empty". Completely young and inexperienced is more accurate.

iamthejayhawk 8 years, 11 months ago

Just my opinion, but Mark Mangino did the unthinkable at Kansas. Football was an absolute embarrassment before he took over as Head Coach. Win or lose his players fought and fought hard. Only one game sticks in my mind where I questioned there effort. I have a sinking feeling that Kansas football may never return to where he had the program. He had the football team fighting for bowl games, he was the first coach to take KU to consecutive bowl games. The reason I question the new regime is because there were many times last year that reminded me of a Terry Allen coached team where the players lacked focus, heart, and the overall fight.

All in all I really miss Mark Mangino and think we let go a great football coach. If you think that the coaches at Florida or Oklahoma or any of the blue blood programs are sweet and kind to their players, you're living in a dream world. Nick Saban is very very tough on his players. I truly hope our program can rebuild, but I do not have as much faith, I would feel much more comfortable seeing Coach Mangino strolling the sideline.

ku_foaf 8 years, 10 months ago

Well, having been at the 2006 Baylor game, I wouldn't say that every Mangino team fought hard. That was a year where we lost a lot of games (about 4, I think) in the last five minutes. In the Baylor game, we allowed a pretty bad Baylor team to score 3 touchdowns in 9 minutes to lose. I sat a few rows behind the bench and you could feel the team giving up and see it on their faces.

2007 was no doubt the best season KU has had ever, 2008 a good followup. 2009 was more like 2006. Mangino was certainly one of the better coaches KU has had, and he definitely brought the talent level way up. Still, he had his lows, too. There were definite coaching ability criticisms after 2006.

Andy Tweedy 8 years, 10 months ago

Why does everybody forget about Glen Mason in terms of effort, recruiting and wins/losses? Terry Allen was a disaster, but Manginon isn't the only coach who has had success at KU. Mason won two bowl games and were it not for his Georgia two-step would have left a pretty nice legacy. I guess all I'm saying is that Mangino isn't the only person who will ever win at KU and I'm hopeful we have the next one in house already.

David Atchley 8 years, 11 months ago

click on the blue highlighted words "his first newspaper interview" for more on story....

David Atchley 8 years, 11 months ago

If you want to "be the best, you have to recruit from the best" that goes for the best players, from the best high school football programs, the best coaches from the best college programs, and the best athletic directors OR assistant athletic directors from the top schools. Kansas historically has practiced this in their basketball program, and have excelled to be mirrored by many other schools. Magically, that formula for sucess and hiring has never been practiced on the football or athletic administration side of the program. For everything Mangino wasn't, what he brought to the KU football program was credibility from coaching at Oklahoma, and with the help of Todd Reesing, put Kansas Football on the national map, if only for a brief moment.

Eric Dawson 8 years, 11 months ago

AtlJaybird, thank you for the first realistic and balanced commentary I have read in these comments so far.

Rivethead 8 years, 11 months ago

Mangino's recruiting class is still ranked higher than Gill's best. As such, I'm not sure I agree with the latter part of your post.

No one can say for sure how Mangino would have done recruiting wise. Fortunately, from that perspective, Coach Gill appears to be a solid recruiter.

Sam Constance 8 years, 10 months ago

I'm honestly curious where your information is coming from... which class of Mangino's are you talking about?

Ethan Berger 8 years, 10 months ago

Great post, do you know how espn or scouts ranked? All Espn shows is top 25.

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 11 months ago

the mangino teams had a punchers chance in every game. sure he didn't fair to well against the south, but you sat down and watched thinking to yourself "what if". sometimes they would compete and sometimes they would get killed but you still watched to find out. we were fun to watch during his time. i remember sitting in arrowhead at the end of the game and saying "watch, we will take a shot in the. . ." and before i could finish TOUCHDOWN! I also remember sitting in arrowhead, also at the end of the game saying "watch, we will take a deep shot here" and that wasn't as successful. i was fine with both because i realize we are kansas football and we have a ceiling. Going 7-5/6-6 and competing in every game is all most kansas fans ask for and we will/did fill the stadium. Break through that mark and you're a legend. finish below it and you're Turner Gill

Andy Tweedy 8 years, 10 months ago

Glen Mason had a horrific first year and he also went on to success. We are too quick to judge!

hawkmaster 8 years, 11 months ago

Phog 1004 says Mangino couldn't recruit certain kinds of players? Coach Gill and Long's PR people report them as two of the greatest QBs in college football history, yet they only barely recruited one worthy QB to KU this season in Berglund. And they got Berglund very late in the recruiting process (with no other QB options) because Gill or Long convinced him to decommit from Colorado because its spread offense wasn't suited to him. Although I'm not sure how they convinced Berglund that a team with "no offense" or no "offensive identify" other than very predictable play calling was better. The jury is still out on Gill, but Mangino definitely proved himself at KU. Lew wanted to appoint a football coach as his legacy, his only other hire was Bonnie and we know how that deal is going! KU can't criticize Mangino for any behavior problems when Lew and KU rewarded Mangino with nice raises his last 2 years at KU - - and for Lew and KU to claim they didn't know Mangino's behavior during that period is ridiculous. Oooops, strike that last statement, Lew was a complete idiot because he never realized $2 m was missing from KU's b-ball coffers with stolen tickets and he never realized those big-time donor seats 2 to 3 rows off the court seemed to turn over every week without the same people! Best of Luck Mark Mangino, I'm still a fan. I only hope 10 years from now we can point back to Mangino as turning the tide with football, much as we look back at the Larry Brown years for getting KU basketball back on track.

Sam Constance 8 years, 10 months ago

Your dislike/hatred of Perkins (something I can certainly identify with) is clouding your perception of the football coaching situation.

Personally, I was always a Mangino skeptic--and I put said skepticism aside, temporarily, when he managed to reach and win the 2008 Orange Bowl. However, in the years following, he did nothing but give me reason to think my original skepticism was well-founded. My original questions about his ability to formulate competent in-game strategy reared their ugly head once again, and it became clear to me that Mangino's best year was the result of a transcendent year by a gritty QB and experienced team playing the easiest possible schedule in the Big 12 at the time. I have a hard time giving Mangino full credit for 2008 because of the fact that it is such an outlier compared to his other years. If the primary source of said success was coaching, then I would expect a bit more consistency from year-to-year.

That being said, I completely agree that the whole Mangino fiasco was orchestrated by Perkins as a way to oust Mangino. I don't think it was because of a desire to pick his own coach, but rather a way to distract from whatever else might've been going on in the Athletic Department. It's not often you have an AD meet with one of the athletic teams sans head coach, and even less common for it to happen at the AD's behest, rather than the players'.

Mangino did a good job for part of his time here at Kansas. Perhaps some will always see him as stepping stone to more prolonged KU football success. He certainly deserves credit, but KU can and will do better--whether that better is Turner Gill or not remains to be seen.

notigers4me 8 years, 11 months ago

Mangino has a total lack of character there is nothing about him or his way that I would want my own son to model. Everyone talks about how he brought us to a winning way and how he was such a great coach. Seriously he had one great season, a couple of average seasons, and the rest was toast. If it wasn't for Reesing and Company even the good years would have sucked. It's always amazing to me how people can turn a blind eye to such glaring flaws.

Joe Baker 8 years, 11 months ago

How long did it take Mangino to win the Orange Bowl? Let's give Gill as much time before we start throwing stones. Where are all the posters from the bball boards? IrishDa and some of the other idiot posters that care less about the KU program.

I was real concerned about Mangino not keeping state talent. I really hated to see Bell (Bishop Carrol) and Grissom (Hutchinson) sign with OU. At least Gill landed Dreamius Smith (Heights and good friend to Ellis) and Darrian Miller though not a Kansas product, it still speaks to Gill's skills:

Mangino was missing and the only player he had was Grissom who was snatched at the last minute by Brent Venables who took full advantage of the KU coaching change. I haven't even heard about Bell and Grissom here in OKC at all. Many of the OU fans haven't even heard of them. They have a really bright future as a Sooner- LOL.


Rivethead 8 years, 11 months ago

Interesting analysis. Wasn't Nick Reid one of the top talents in the state of Kansas (Derby HS)? Wasn't he recruited by Mangino? Didn't he end up becoming Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year under Mangino?

Benjamin Piehler 8 years, 11 months ago

The site the article is on looks like Mangino made it himself ha.... but anyway, this article basically sums up how I also interpreted the chain of events.... in a nutshell Mangino got fired because Lew Perkins' "Gridiron Club" (whats the status on that anyway?) was in jeopardy during an unexpectedly bad season.

Since then, the whole thing has gone fubar and Perkins left while the house is still on fire.

hawksince51 8 years, 11 months ago

Mangino was a very good turnaround guy for the KU football program. And he achieved things no other KU football coach has ever done--back to back bowl wins and our first ever major bowl win. But the 2009 season showed he could not sustain a winning program and stayed too long. That is consistent with what often happens in the business world with turnaround guys. The key is to bring in the right guy at the right time to follow them. While circumstances resulted in his being one year late, I truly hope Gill turns out to be such a coach. The coaching staff he hired to support him and this year's recruits are encouraging signs.

Benjamin Piehler 8 years, 11 months ago

“I do have some criteria that would need to be met before I would get back into the game. I want to be in a football environment — in other words, I would only go to a place where football has a high level of importance. I don’t want to go someplace where football is an afterthought or a hobby, that just would not work for me.

^ is this a slight at KU?

Mike Kendall 8 years, 11 months ago

hawkinator---I was thinking the same thing, too. Interesting you would bring that up.

Sam Constance 8 years, 10 months ago

Definitely, and I think we might be seeing a window into the true reason behind Perkins' odd decision to basically create a controversy while Mangino was still coaching.

As I described in an eariler post, I remember the Mangino abuse issue first coming to light after the AD (Perkins) met with the team, with out Mangino present. A major power play to be sure and fairly unprecedented for an AD to call the team up for a meeting and exclude the head coach.

I know that both Perkins and Mangino (from secondhand accounts I've received from my family--some of whom work at KU in administration) were imposing individuals who had a tendency to "bully" others to get their way, for lack of a better term. Perkins, for example, made a habit of arguing down dissent with his own point of view.

I get the impression that Mangino and Perkins often butted heads as to how much resources the football program deserved/needed, and when you have two "alpha-male" types going directly head to head, it's never going to have a happy ending. Perkins took an opportunity when he saw it--he had a coach who was struggling on-field, and knows from many years in college athletics that it's extremely hard to oust a successful coach, no matter what their non-sport issues are. He also knew that his allegations, while unsavory, were nothing approaching a "smoking gun".

It's funny really. Here we are with a new AD and football head coach, both of whom are--by all accounts--stand-up, good character guys, all because the bullies we had running the program couldn't get out of their own ways.

Andy Tweedy 8 years, 10 months ago

You could look at it as a shot at KU, or maybe, just maybe, it's a shot at KU fans just as much as KU! I mean, seriously, out side of 2007, how many KU fans could even name the starters on both sides of the ball. I am one of "those" fans who love the football team, but the sad truth is most Kansas fans just don't give a crap!

Gregor Southard 8 years, 11 months ago

Mangino followed the joke that was Terry Allen. Gill is following a generally successful Mangino era. Gill may succeed but the cupboard wasn't bare like when Mangino took over.

Sam Constance 8 years, 10 months ago

This is just incorrect. Unless you'd like to list all the studs Mangino left us who either played last year, or transferred out of the program with his departure.

The cupboard was bare when Mangino arrived.

The cupboard was mostly bare when Gill arrived.

Rivethead 8 years, 10 months ago

Oh good Lord. We've already been over this a million times on the football board.

Fact: Mark Mangino inherited ONE D1 caliber player from Terry Allen (this per Bob Stoops who visited the first winter workout with his friend Mark Mangino). Just one single D1 caliber player.

Fact: Turner Gill inherited more four star players than have ever been on a KU football roster (McDougald, Operum, Kande immediately come to mind). Yes, stars don't necessary mean anything but they are an indication of talent.

Do yourself a favor and go to the KU football message board. Search on post by kman_blue. He's done a better job of documenting the talent that anyone, including "professionals" supposedly covering the football team.

The cupboard was far from bare when Gill arrived. It was very young and very inexperienced.....which is EXACTLY what you want when you're a new coach (don't have as much work breaking the old regime's habits).

Rivethead 8 years, 10 months ago

No I don't disagree.

After Gill came on board we almost immediately lost 3 offensive linemen (Jose Rodriquez, Ian Wolfe, and one other I can't remember). That's a serious hit to OL depth (factor in Spikes and Hatch injuries and the situation became dire).

vd 8 years, 10 months ago

It was tough on us all, but especially on my wife and daughter,” Mangino told the New Castle (Pa.) News of his final weeks on the job. “You try to protect your family the best you can because it was me that people were targeting, yet they had to bear the brunt of a lot of it. They didn’t sign on for this, I did. The cruelty at times was really unfair to them.”

Someone at KU was treating his family the way he treated his football players???????????? Was someone in the ticket office selling tickets to his wife and daughter? What was the unfair cruelty his family was subjected to?

Andy Tweedy 8 years, 10 months ago

You know the answer to that...all the fallout from the way HE treated people! I mean, come on, nobody wants to find out their husband/father is a complete jerk!!!

Kirk 8 years, 10 months ago

"Complete jerk" aptly describes any successful football coach -- when he's being a coach. He might be a nice person otherwise.

So, of course we're back to the nice guy position on the carousel again. Whatever. If we were Boise St, I'd think differently, but here we are in the Big XXII for a few more years perhaps, if we can hang on, and to win here means driving players as hard as you can.

vd 8 years, 10 months ago

Do you think Mary jane might have been a little embarrassed by her husband, at their son's HS football game? Ths is typical MM, hiding behind his wife's skirt.

Jayhawkalum05 8 years, 10 months ago

VD had it exactly right. In the end, karma caught up with the big man and he was treated as unfairly as he treated so many before him. We can't cry for him when the tables turn. Timing may not be perfect but it was more than fair and more than deserved. Thanks for the Orange Bowl.

Kirk is only half right though. Coaching at that level does require a certain level of toughness. It may be custom "to tear them down to build them back up".. But Mangino got off on tearing young men/kids down to leave them in the gutter. When it really hit the fan, anyone notice there was NOT a shortage of past and current players with stories... Winning or loosing he had difficulty treating players with respect. KU had to stop the bleeding by stopping the stories from coming out. KU athletics knew what most of you guys seem to forget,... Mangino will NEVER be able to recruit again = no head coach opportunity anywhere near this level of football. Damage is done, Cats out the bag, Game over.

Linejudgemick 8 years, 10 months ago

 There are a lot of thoughts here I agree with, but one stands out. The "Gridiron Iron" club should resonate with everyone. From what I hear Mangino did not enjoy fundraising and resisted public appearances at every opportunity. Perkins had the Perkins agenda, which included raising huge amounts of $. Mangino didn't fit Perkins' profile and was obviously the source of ridicule because of his weight. Perkins couldn't justify a coaching change at first because the team had just come off their BCS bowl win. Then the next year they didn't have the same success, but they still won a second bowl game. So what do you do then...? Hmmm maybe abuse - abuse is a great reason for a change. Should anyone be abused either verbally or physically - of course not! But, as others have mentioned - most coaches at this level probably have their own skeletons in the closet. Lots of people point back to the last year and the fact that Mangino's team had that 7 game losing streak. Can you imagine trying to motivate your players, staff and even yourself while your program is under that kind of scrutiny? Constant questions about your future, etc. I think in some respects it was amazing they were as competitive in those games as they were - and still came within a few plays of being bowl eligible three years in a row.
 Don't forget that had the players who went 3 - 9 last year, been coached by Mangino the result might have been different. The system would not have changed, the staff would have "known" the players, etc. Of course no one will ever know now.
 I wish Coach Gill the best and hope he will be successful, but I feel we should also acknowledge Coach Mangino's success and also recognize who really left KU with the mess they were left with.

kureader 8 years, 10 months ago

The actual article in the New Castle News was interesting and pretty well done.

The article wasn't about Gill and, to me, it makes no sense to compare the two coaches until Gill has been around awhile longer. That said, say what you want about Mangino, Gill has his work cut out for him. I'd be surprised to see us winning another Orange Bowl any time soon. And, we'll certainly never hang 70+ on Nebraska again.

Though it's water under the bridge and doesn't really matter, my issue with the Mangino termination hinged more on Perkins than Mangino. Unless you're Nebraska, you don't fire a guy for losing the year after he wins your first Orange Bowl in 60 years and the National Coach of the Year recognition. Mangino was terminated for his conduct. Problem is, Mangino was pretty much Mangino from the beginning. His temper and coaching style were well known long before 2008. Perkins knew exactly what Mangino did or didn't do when he signed him to a lucrative, long term contract extension. Perkins had every opportunity to manage whatever behavior problems he already knew about when he negotiated a new contract with Mangino, but he didn't.

Perkins was the "Master of the Long Term Contract" ... Mangino, Gill, and Perkins, himself! We've now paid $5 million to two guys to NOT work at KU. And, there's $8 million left on Gill's $10 million dollar contract. Let's hope Gill doesn't make THREE guys who get paid for NOT working at KU.

Sometimes, I kinda miss Mangino. But, but as a fan and supporter who wants his money to be put to good use, I'll never miss Perkins!

Kirk 8 years, 10 months ago

This is worth repeating:

"Unless you're Nebraska, you don't fire a guy for losing the year after he wins your first Orange Bowl in 60 years...." -- or two years after, with yet another bowl intervening those years.

Exactly. Your whole middle paragraph nails it.

Kansas behaved like a basketball school that doesn't know dick about football.

I'm tired of the Gill/Mangino comparisons for this reason: Gill was supposed to take KU to "the next level". He's not supposed to repeat Mangino's feats -- he's supposed to better them!

That WAS the rhetoric, back when Perkins pushed Mangino out. The next level.

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 10 months ago

what's really bad is two of the teams ranked ahead of us killed us this year. yikes!

Jason Bailey 8 years, 10 months ago

If we had signed Jim Harbaugh, I think we'd have a very different discussion going on regarding the HC situation at KU. People understand adversity during a transition year but we are very worried because of the experience that Gill brings (or lack thereof). Harbaugh (or any major BCS head coach with success under their belt) would have brought demonstrative achievements to Kivisto Field and we'd be pointing at previous achievements as an indication that better days lie ahead for KU FB.

Unfortunately, with Gill, we don't have that. Sure, he won a conference championship at Buffalo in the MAC but that is chump change compared to contending in a BCS conference. Most of Gill's HC resume is losing, not demonstrative success or achievement. That's what worries me. I'm just not sure the guy can do it...I hope he can but when I hire a new employee, I want achievements -- real successes -- not promises of coming achievement.

Kirk 8 years, 10 months ago

I concur, and would add that, following Mangino, KU didn't require a merely average or even a good HC. KU required an extraordinary one.

Recruiting at KU -- without serious success on the field first -- will only net us so much in this conference. Creativity and coaching (please, no more quotes about the jims and the joes) is absolutely required to take KU to the mystical "next level" we've heard so much about -- the "next level" that the coach after Mangino is supposedly taking us to.

If coaching didn't matter, then why have 'em? Why have Stoops instead of Blake at OU? Either guy can bring in the talent. Ah, but somehow Stoops was able to do much, much more with the same players.

Coaching matters, and we brought in a okayish one at best. An experiment. He's either crappy or he's average; neither will help us.

Rivethead 8 years, 10 months ago

All coaches are an experiment. Just some are more than others.

Lew Perkins rolled the dice big time on this one. Here's hoping we win.

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 10 months ago

I'm NOT anti-KU - I LOVE KU. Having said that, how much difference would it make if we had, say, Mack Brown or whomever - any of the high profile coaches? If you're a high school stud football player do you want to play for Texas, Ohio State, Florida or one of the "big name schools", or do you want to come to Lawrence, Ks? Lawrence is a great college town and, in my opinion, the ONLY place to go if you want to be a great college basketball player, but I just don't see the 4 and 5 star football players flocking here. We have had GREAT football players over the years, and you all know of the great ones that we've had that have gone on to great NFL careers, but generally speaking, the high profile football players don't want to come here and I'm just not sure it would make a lot of difference who the coach was.

rob4lb 8 years, 10 months ago

For those of us who have followed KU football for decades, Mangino did something many thought was unimaginable. He made KU football respectable for a couple of years. 2007 was a magical season where KU had the good fortune of not having to play the three best schools in the Big 12 South. Mangino never beat UT, TT or OU. If you divide the conference in quartiles and look at Mangino's body of work, he elevated KU from the 4th or bottom quartile to the next or 3rd quartile. In 2007, KU was one of the top 4-5 teams in the conference, but in every other year, KU was in the bottom half of the conference. Mangino made progress, but not nearly as much as some would want to believe.

Unfortunately, last year KU fell to the bottom of the conference and now the 3rd quartile looks pretty good. It remains to be seen what Turner Gill will accomplish. In order to replicate Mangino's success, all he needs to do is elevate KU from the worst program in the conference to 6th or 7th place. It is more difficult than it sounds.

Kirk 8 years, 10 months ago

That was a good year except for the absolute blowout losses to KSU and NU.

actorman 8 years, 10 months ago

"The cruelty at times was really unfair to them."

Funny, but that's what the players' parents were saying about Mangino too.

sdoyel 8 years, 10 months ago

Want a reason as to why Gill may not be successful at KU?

Look no further then the comments on this thread.

Without fan support, it's a lost cause.

Kirk 8 years, 10 months ago

If Gill produces a competitive product that makes for exciting games that go the distance, he will definitely get fan support.

If not -- well, Perkins should have thought twice about pushing out a helluva good coach without having an even better one to replace him.

Jayhawkalum05 8 years, 10 months ago

Post like this almost make it so you have to cheer against your team to make your point. Maybe you should wait till Basketball season so your "loyalty" (rather lack there of) isnt tested like this. Rock Chalk people... this fair weather stuff shouldnt be Kansas.

hawkmaster 8 years, 10 months ago

"kureader", I agree based on the blog I posted yesterday. Lots of peeps noting that Mangino left the cupboard bare and exhorting how great Gill is, pleeeze do your homework before you make nonsensical remarks. Gill got out of Buffalo while his "brief" career peaked and was on the decline. Gill's overall record at Buff was 20-30, in his 3rd year in 2008 he won the MAC Championship and the International Bowl (in Toronto) - - not quite the Orange Bowl! In 2009, back to reality, Gill went 5-7 and so he left on the downhill slide. And about that cupboard bare remark, Buffalo ranked 120th in scoring last year and were considered one of the worst teams in the nation, they lost their final game to Akron (1 win) who was considered by many to be the worst team in the nation. Many blogs and reports from Buffalo indicate that Gill left the cupboard bare and he fired a popular defensive coordinator that resulted in the defense falling apart. I will give Gill a chance to succeed at KU, but his record is spotty and brief, there must be good reason why lots of other college teams failed to hire him. And I'm not going to bad-mouth Mangino to try and prop up Gill. Even if Gill gets the recruits, he still has to coach them. From the accounts I read, all of KU's best players liked and respected Mangino (Reesing, Meier, etc), and it was players from past years that never started for KU, or never finished their careers at KU, that were the primary Mangino haters. I sure hope KU made the right choice in hiring Gill, because 3 to 5 years of bad football will return KU to the pre-Mangino years of poor attendance and general malaise regarding football.

Jayhawkalum05 8 years, 10 months ago

A. Might wanna take your own advice before you post... Wasnt Joe Mortensen, a captain of that Orange Bowl Team, among others quoted heavily on this site and in the paper....? So ... Even captains, of Kansas' most successful team(arguably), who were named by Mangino himself, wanted him gone and were airing dirty laundry to make it happen...

B. Todd and Kerry as awesome as they are, can only play one position at a time. I'll give him a cookie for keeping them happy, but it doesnt excuse the way he treated his other players(85 scholarships.. FYI).

C. Finally, whether Lew was right or wrong, after it hit the fan recruiting would have be IMPOSSIBLE for Mangino. I can hear Colorado, Missouri, K-State coaches now... "You sure you wanna play for him"... haha. Get real, people... Would you sign your son up to play for the man? His time came, move on.

Kirk 8 years, 10 months ago

That's what was so ruthlessly smart about Perkins' character attack. He declared open season and let ex-players blab to the press all they wanted. Mangino's fate sealed from the get go.

So, you're correct: Right or wrong had nothing to do with it. Perception is reality.

If Mangino had been guilty of anything truly rotten, he wouldn't have walked away with $3MM.

So...the Perkins smear WAS effective in nuking the fat man. Whether it was good for KU football remains to be seen.

LeBo 8 years, 10 months ago

I love you Coach Mangino, the Orange Bowl will never be matched in 25 years or possibly my lifetime. {Watching an undefeated home schedule cured my unemployment depression.} Three bowl victories in a row. You are the Greatest KU Football Coach ever! Too bad the KUAD was to busy embezzling money to notice. The college kids today are cry babies, (see Royce Wooldrige.)

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