Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Opinion: Mark Mangino to UK makes sense

KU football coach Mark Mangino celebrates after the Jayhawks won the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3. Mangino went 50-48 from 2002-2009.

KU football coach Mark Mangino celebrates after the Jayhawks won the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3. Mangino went 50-48 from 2002-2009.


It hit me like a hot-air shot onto a cavity delivered through one of those guns dentists like to use to amuse themselves and get a rise out of their patients: Mark Mangino very well could return to coaching soon as an offensive coordinator at a school that has challenges in building a football program similar to those at Kansas University.

Think about it: Most head football coaches identify more with one side of the ball than the other.

Alabama’s Nick Saban played defensive back and worked on defense during his long apprenticeship as an assistant. Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly comes from defense as well. Kansas State’s Bill Snyder and Oregon’s Chip Kelly used their skills as offensive coordinators to land jobs as head coaches.

It’s imperative that an assistant coach hired to run his own program for the first time finds a strong coordinator on the opposite side of the ball from his area of expertise. Mangino hired one of the best defensive coordinators in the business in Bill Young, now working at Oklahoma State, when he took the Kansas job in 2002. KU went 12-1 and won the Orange Bowl in Young’s final season in town.

Mark Stoops of the famous football-coaching family spent all of his 24 years as a college assistant on defense, most recently at Florida State.

Stoops takes on a new and different challenge as head coach at Kentucky. For his most important hire, he needs an OC with experience at making the transition to heading a program after a long tenure as an assistant. Preferably, his most important hire also will have a history that includes working at a powerhouse basketball school, someone who inherited a program that drew flies when he arrived and rocked with rabid capacity crowds when things started rolling. Stoops needs it to be someone he can trust as if he’s a family member, someone who will have his back 24/7.

Mangino fits every qualification and is ready to return to coaching now that his wife’s treatment for breast cancer has concluded, and she has encouraged him to get back to work.

On a Twitter account identified as Mangino’s (@keepsawinwood), a tweet went out last week saying he had taken his name out of consideration for the Colorado head-coaching vacancy.

Mangino goes back a long way with the Stoops family. They grew up on opposite sides of the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, where black-and-blue football players smash mouths under gray skies.

Mark Stoops worked for Mike Stoops at Arizona, and Mike Stoops now works for Bob Stoops at Oklahoma. They like the idea of family members joining hands and working into the wee hours together. If Mark Mangino ends up at Kentucky, it’s not a reach to believe his son, Tommy, former Lawrence High quarterback, might join him as an offensive assistant.


Yolanda Gay 1 year, 4 months ago

In 2009 (5-7, 1-7), I think if Mangino had went with another QB, we would have had a winning season. It was obvious that Reesing wasn't getting it done due to his injury. He should have put Pick at QB. KU had good receivers that year. If Pick had got it the pass close to the receivers, Briscoe, Meier, etc would have been able to catch the ball.


Kent Kossoy 1 year, 4 months ago

If you are going to speak on legacy and coaching families, I agree both Mangino and Stoop family came from Bill Snyder. But, Snyder didn't start the legacy. He learned his talent under a former Iowa coch in the 80's, Hayden Fry.


JHWKDW 1 year, 4 months ago

Whatever! Well wherever he goes, best wishes Coach Mangino. Was Good knowing you Ill always remember the Orange Bowl victory you brought while you were here. Hopefully we will bring some of that magic back with Weis, like we had in 2007 to this team. Thanks again & good luck wherever you land.

Ok time to move on people. Now lets worry about KU football and we need to do to improve.Hey maybe let us talk about improving Memorial Stadium and our Beloved Jayhawks. RCJH Football in 2013.


kureader 1 year, 4 months ago

I reread the article a couple times ... I'm looking for some reason that Keegan thinks Mangino might be a candidate for the Kentucky job. I'm guess I'm missing something. What does one have to do with the other?


pepper_bar 1 year, 4 months ago

Raise your hand if you think KU would have been 1-11 under Mangino playing against the 2012 schedule.

I see no hands.


MoralVictory 1 year, 4 months ago

One more time with gusto..... 2002 Kansas 2–10 0–8 6th (North)
2003 Kansas 6–7 3–5 T–4th (North) L Tangerine
2004 Kansas 4–7 2–6 T–5th (North)
2005 Kansas 7–5 3–5 5th (North) W Fort Worth
2006 Kansas 6–6 3–5 4th (North)
2007 Kansas 12–1 7–1 T–1stπ (North) W Orange† 7 7 2008 Kansas 8–5 4–4 3rd (North) W Insight
2009 Kansas 5–7 1–7 6th (North)
Kansas: 50–48 23–41
Total: 50–48

Notice our placement in the conference during his 8th year on the job. Two years out of 8 where he finished in the top-half, not in the league, but in the weaker of two 6-team divisions.

So let's do what they do in figure skating - take out the highest and lowest scores - and what do you get? One third place finish in the division in six years.

He was really no more successful than Mason, who probably would have been fired in a season or two had he not left for Minnesota.

Bottom line, he wasn't horrible but he was by no means great....especially without number 5.


ffletch 1 year, 4 months ago

I wish we had him back. I wish he had never left. The man could coach.


Jack Wilson 1 year, 4 months ago

Mark Mangino to UK makes sense .. yea, to the University of Kansas.

Mangino is the only coach to bring this program to the pinnacle since, well, a hell of a long time ago. Proof is in the pudding.

Gill's hiring was proof of the administration's incompetence -- incompetence in mindset. Proof is in the pudding.

Guys like Mangino don't make friends along the way. When they win, they are left alone. When the lose, the sharks start to circle. The sharks are the liberal, ivory tower, politically correct types that don't have the spine to confront what they claim to be inappropriate conduct when he's winning. It's only "inappropriate" when he's losing.

Mangino was the best thing to happen to KU football since the 60s. Wish we had him back.


texashawk10 1 year, 4 months ago

Firing Mangino was the right move at the time. Doing the way Perkins did was not the right way to get rid of Mangino though. Mangino's personality was causing massive turnovers on his coaching staff over the last couple of years and that was going to cause KU massive issues going forward because changing half a coaching staff every year is one of the surest ways to cripple recruiting. Assistant coaches are the ones who build the relationships with the HS athletes and are the ones selling the kid on a program. When you have inconsistency with who's on your staff, you have inconsistency in recruiting as well. This is the biggest reason why Mangino needed to go. Had Perkins been able to land someone like Harbaugh, as was rumored to be headed to Lawrence had Perkins let him coach Stanford's bowl game, then KU likely doesn't have the drop off they had under Gill. Firing Mangino was the right decision, but the reasons for firing Mangino were flawed and Perkins should've been shown the door right after Mangino was.


kay_you 1 year, 4 months ago

Didn't Mark say he would never coach at a basketball school again?


kugrad93 1 year, 4 months ago

Gill hiring was a huge mistake. Firing Mangino was not.


gorilla10 1 year, 4 months ago

LEW PERKINS IS AN IDIOT!!!!!! The best thing to EVER happen to KU football in years was thrown away by a dumb athletic director that had no clue what he was doing. If KU still had Mangino we would have a consistent offense that can put up decent numbers and an average defense that would allow us to sit at 5-7, 6-6, 7-5 and 8-4 from time to time. Instead, coach Weis has to try and dig us out of this mess left by the Mangino firing/Gill hiring! Best thing to do is to stick by coach Weis through it all and show your support!!!


wildjayhawk 1 year, 4 months ago

Looks like the KU fans are regretting letting Mark Mangino get away. What we have seen the past three years shows us that he should have stayed. Ku burned its own bridge.


Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 4 months ago

Come back.

Please. We're sorry, and we'll never accuse you of player abuse again. I promise.


VaJay 1 year, 4 months ago

I get the - I'm a defensive coach & I need a strong offensive mind - part.

What I don't get is - preferably the OC has experience at a bball powerhouse school

That's got to be so far down the list of necessary attributes as to be inconsequential. Come on, yes it's a coincidence, but how's that going to score more touchdowns.


Mark Winter 1 year, 4 months ago

Mangino and Bob Stoops were both assistants at Kstate in 1991-1995 under Snyder, then were together at Oklahoma and won a National championship there. These are where the real ties should be noted.


notjustbread 1 year, 4 months ago

Buying stock in donut shops near UK campus right now. I will be rich.


vd 1 year, 4 months ago

KU money is probably running out. Time to find a job. Would be a good fit.


MoralVictory 1 year, 4 months ago

Saw Mangino in the Fort Myers, FL airport on Sunday...getting off a flight from Dallas. Let the speculation begin.....


Jonathan Allison 1 year, 4 months ago

we all know that Mangino was an offensive coordinator for Bob Stoops at OU, but it's quite a glaring omission in this column.


Eliott Reeder 1 year, 4 months ago

Didn't I just read this same article a couple weeks ago?!?


Jim Stauffer 1 year, 4 months ago

I think MM proved he can restore a program to a very competitive level, but I think he also proved he is not the guy to maintain that program. He will eventually run it in the ditch as he did here.

His greatest failure here was to elevate recruiting commensurate with on field performance.


swunruhawk 1 year, 4 months ago

I hope the big man gets the job. Thanks for the update.


Sae Thirtysix 1 year, 4 months ago

Move on already. When / if MM gets a job, great. Til then . . . spill ink elsewhere.


Janet Scott 1 year, 4 months ago

Everyone should get a second chance. I would like to see Mangino back at the helm somewhere in college football, and winning big.


Jack Jones 1 year, 4 months ago

It's really good news to hear of Coach Mangino's possible return to the college football coaching ranks -either as an assistant, or preferably a Head Coaching job. He has more than proven himself to have the credentials to either continue to build on an already successful program, or for sure, to restore a football team, much like the University of Kansas was when he was hired for that challenge. And, it's especially good news to hear of his wife's improved health condition. Best wishes for the future to both.


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