Saturday, August 17, 2013

Ex-KU coach Mark Mangino building happy, healthy life at alma mater

Former Kansas University coach Mark Mangino says he’s “having more fun right now than I’ve had in a long, long time in coaching” during his first few months at Youngstown State, his alma mater. Mangino, seen here at YSU practice on Aug. 13, 2013, in Youngstown, Ohio, is the Penguins’ assistant head coach, tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator.

Former Kansas University coach Mark Mangino says he’s “having more fun right now than I’ve had in a long, long time in coaching” during his first few months at Youngstown State, his alma mater. Mangino, seen here at YSU practice on Aug. 13, 2013, in Youngstown, Ohio, is the Penguins’ assistant head coach, tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator.


— The horn has blown on the first of two football practices in one recent mid-week day at Youngstown State. The head coach has spoken and the players head for water bottles and a path home for rest. After a few minutes, just two men remain on the field, one a chatty linebacker, another the assistant head coach/tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator. The coach knows the role he needs to fill at the moment is to listen. So he listens.

The assistant head coach is known in this part of the country as “Bear,” his childhood nickname. Six seasons ago, he was known as the consensus national college football coach of the year, Mark Mangino, native of nearby New Castle, Pa.

Mangino, the last football coach to leave Kansas University with a winning record (50-48 in eight seasons) since Jack Mitchell in 1966, and the school’s only coach to appear in back-to-back bowl games, the only one to win three consecutive bowl appearances and the proud leader of a 2007 squad ranked seventh in the nation with a 12-1 record and Orange Bowl championship, heads to the bleachers to accommodate a reporter from Kansas.

From his seat, Mangino can see signs of the slow progress of a once-booming steel town’s recovery from the depths of its crash. Dormitories near the football stadium stand where crack houses and houses of ill repute sullied the landscape a few decades ago. The well-read Mangino cites a story he has read from an economist in a Washington, D.C., think tank, one that predicts Youngstown will be among the northeast Ohio cities that 10 years out will have much better economies than today. Foreign companies, aware of an eager and skilled labor force, are relocating in the area.

“It’s never going to be like it was, but there are definitely positive signs,” said Mangino, a 1987 graduate of Youngstown State who spent one season as a student assistant to Bill Narduzzi and one in a similar role on Jim Tressel’s staff.

Sensing positive vibes as to a rough town’s recovery in large part requires relying on intangibles. The only tools needed to recognize the football coach is in the midst of a comeback are a pair of eyes. Mangino is a shell of his former self in an all-good way. Eyes that haven’t seen him since his Kansas days required a second look to make sure it was in fact Mangino standing in the end zone fist-bumping a player. The ease with which he talked about his weight loss was nearly as shocking.

Mangino was forced to resign after the 2009 season with a negotiated $3 million parachute after athletic director Lew Perkins launched a late-season investigation into his alleged mistreatment of players. Mangino’s wife, Mary Jane, was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. She since has been declared cancer-free and goes in for six-month checkups.

Concerns over his wife’s health and lack of a job offer he felt was right for his career and family delayed Mangino’s return to coaching until, in advance of spring football, he accepted Youngstown State coach Eric Wolford’s offer to join his staff, a homecoming for Mangino.

Triple-digit weight loss

Mangino discussed his inspiration for losing weight.

“During the time I was off I got a chance to spend time with the grandkids,” Mangino said. “It was so much fun being around them, and I got to thinking about a year or so ago, ‘If I don’t do something, am I going to see them get their first Holy Communion, am I going to see them graduate high school, go to college? Am I going to be able to hang in there and see them get married?’ I thought about it and I said, ‘The chances are that I might not.’”


The Vindicator ( Youngstown)

Former Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino directs players at Youngstown State practice on Aug. 13, 2013, in Youngstown, Ohio. Mangino is the YSU assistant head coach, tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator.

He doesn’t sport the drooping-skin look of some who have lost a great deal of weight in a short period of time. He just looks like a mini-Mangino compared to his days as the Kansas coach.

“It’s hard for a guy like me, but I decided I was going to change my lifestyle, get more exercise, just change everything, make a drastic, drastic change in the way I looked at things,” he said. “And so far it’s been good. I’m getting my exercise. During two-a-days, it’s tough to exercise, but I get a little walk and I get my exercise out here (during practice).”

Mangino’s first major weight gain came when he left Bill Snyder’s staff at Kansas State for Bob Stoops’ staff at Oklahoma. He moved ahead of the family and missed home cooking, so it came as no surprise when he cited the person most responsible for supporting his conditioning efforts of the past year.

“Mary Jane’s been very good about preparing what I should eat and how much to eat,” Mangino said. “And I just decided I had to do something. I saw my wife sick, and I said, ‘Geez, if something happened to my wife and something happened to me, the grandkids wouldn’t have any grandparents.’ I decided I better get busy here. It’s time to stop putting my football team and my players ahead of myself. If I take better care of myself, then I’ll be able to take care of them better.”

Even without much hope of an answer, the question had to be asked: How much have you lost from your peak weight to now?

“I don’t know my peak weight, maybe it was because I didn’t want to face it,” Mangino said. “I started working out, watching what I was eating and doing different things probably six, eight weeks before I ever checked my weight. I can tell you that having weighed in the 28th or 29th of August, I was down 127 pounds (from about a year ago).”

Grudge? What grudge?

To listen to Mangino talk about his feelings about Kansas is to realize that he probably feels even lighter because he’s not carrying the weight of bitter feelings. Severance packages typically include clauses that prohibit the departing employee from trashing his previous employer, but Mangino seems motivated as much by maintaining a healthy state of mind as by fear of losing a healthy bank account.

“I hold the University of Kansas in high esteem,” Mangino said. “I mean, I had a great time there. I had eight great years there. I had a chance to coach great kids; my wife and I still have great friends all over the state of Kansas that we keep in touch with and come out and visit. I don’t have any reason to hold a grudge or anything.”

He knows what it’s like to carry around extra baggage. He didn’t like how it felt.

“Hey, grudges take work, they take energy,” he said. “They take up your thinking and who has time for that? I had eight great years there. One thing I’ll say, eight years, every single day, I gave the people at the University of Kansas my 100 percent. I gave everything I had to try to make that football program better and I’m proud of that.”

His thoughts remain trained on where he is, not where he has been, he said.

“Most people in Youngstown don’t even know my first name,” Mangino said. “It’s good to be here. I”m having fun. I’m about as thrilled as I could be. Youngstown State is the right place at the right time in my life. It is.”

It wouldn’t take more than a pop psychology degree from a fortune cookie or bubble-gum dispenser to draw the conclusion that feeling so supported from every angle has made Mangino feel good about himself and in turn aided his weight-loss efforts.

“My wife’s a big believer in everything happens for a reason, and she’s got me convinced that’s the truth,” Mangino said. “Everything happens for a reason. I’m having more fun right now than I’ve had in a long, long time in coaching. I’m with good coaches, good guys. I’ve got wonderful kids I’m coaching. They’ll run through a brick wall for you. They’re tough as nails. Everywhere I go, I run into friends or someone who has something positive to say, whether it’s about our football team, the season. Everybody’s upbeat. The city of Youngstown’s ready for football season. They’re dug in, ready for the first game. But I’m around good people, a lot of people that I know. They’ve always appreciated my effort and I’m thankful for that.”

That doesn’t mean Mangino, 56, has pitched a permanent tent at his alma mater. He said, “I don’t know how long I’ll be here,” and did not hesitate when asked if he felt up to the challenge of taking on another head-coaching job.

“There’s no question,” he said. “I’m prepared and I’m ready for it. I’ve got the energy, the enthusiasm, the passion for it. If the right situation came about that I thought it was a good decision to make for myself, my family, my future and it’s a place I want to be with good people who care about football, I’d do it again. But right now, I’m day to day. I’m enjoying the moment. I’m enjoying being here at Youngstown. It’s fun. It’s like being home. Everybody’s been so welcoming and everybody’s just so happy to have you. And here they don’t care who I am or what I am or whatever the heck labels are on me, have handed to me, other people have given me. I’m known around here by a name that’s not even my birth name.”

The “too-tough-on-the-players” label might shrink the pool of schools interested in pursuing a coach with a winning record at a place with a long tradition of losing football.

“I’m not worried about the things I can’t control and I can’t control what other people say about me,” Mangino said. “I think it’s best if you’ve watched me coach, if you’ve seen me prepare, if you’ve seen my relationship with players, you’ll understand me and you’ll know what I do is in the best interest of the program I’m in, and I enjoy teaching and coaching.

“I’m like every other human being. There are people who like me and people who don’t. And there a lot of people who don’t know me and have drawn a conclusion that I’m this or that and I can’t control that. I certainly can’t send 300 million mailings out. What am I going to do?”

He is going to keep sawing wood and occasionally tweet at “KeepSawinWood.”

‘A players’ coach’

Penguins junior tight end Nate Adams remembered learning the news about his new position coach.

“When we first hired him just hearing the name was pretty cool,” Adams said. “He’s been national coach of the year and now he’s a position coach here. He obviously knows a lot about the game and about offense. He’s really helped me a learn a lot about offense as a whole, not just from the tight end position.”

Adams laughed when asked if he found Mangino’s coaching style abusive.

“I think he’s definitely a players’ coach,” Adams said. “When we first met him in the spring, we had individual meetings with him and didn’t even talk about football. We talked about family and then he got our parents’ phone numbers and contacted our families. I think he got a bad rep up there at Kansas and I don’t see any of that side of him here at Youngstown. It’s definitely great to have him on staff.”

His tough reputation wasn’t a concern for his current employers.

From pupil to boss

Youngstown State head coach Eric Wolford, 42, played for Bill Snyder at Kansas State as an offensive lineman when Mangino was his position coach. They also were members of Snyder’s staff at the same time. Before becoming head coach at Youngstown State, Wolford also worked on the staffs of head coaches Steve Spurrier, Ron Zook, Mike Stoops, Darrell Dickey, Dana Dimel, Jim Leavitt and Snyder. He was recruited to K-State by Bob Stoops.

Wolford said that after he took the head-coaching position at YSU in 2010, Mangino was among the first he called for advice and he called him often.

“There are a lot of us out of that (Snyder) Kansas State coaching tree,” Wolford said. “Out of all of us, he got the most out of the least. It was a slam dunk for Youngstown State to hire him. He’s been great for staff chemistry. The players have really taken a liking to him. So it’s exciting to have him here.”

Without mentioning Lew Perkins by name or the specifics of the conditions under which he left KU — a ticket scandal not tied to Perkins but happening during his watch in which four people pocketed money for tickets and were sent to prison — Wolford expressed the opinion that Mangino’s relationship with his athletic director was the reason for his ouster.

“The thing is is this: The media perception of Mark Mangino is not Mark Mangino,” Wolford said. “Here’s a guy who was under tremendous pressure basically because the athletic director wanted him out of there. Quite frankly, there’s proof now they got rid of the wrong guy. Know what I mean? My opinion is they got rid of the wrong guy first. That guy was definitely out to get him and as a head coach you probably feel that or sense that. It was obviously putting a negative spin on Mark Mangino that was way off base. It’s not him.”

Youngstown State’s colors are red and white, but Wolford’s purple roots show often.

“There is no one gladder that Mark Mangino is gone from Kansas than us K-State fans,” he said. “We’re the happiest people in the world. Youngstown State fans are happy he’s here and Kansas State fans are happy that Mark Mangino’s not coaching at Kansas.”

Happy. The word hasn’t always been the first to roll off the lips of those describing Mangino, but now it seems to fit Mangino as well as those pants that have been taken out of the recesses of his closet after a long, sometimes stormy stay.


Mike Nicco 8 months ago

Coach, I have forgiven you for tanking the Missouri game. No way your were going to win that game and let us go bowling, even if you were around to coach the game. I understand your bitterness, just wish it hadn't clouded your judgement and negatively affected your players and coaches.

I'm sincerely happy for you now. Most of us deserve a second act. Hope you make the most of it.


JHWKDW 8 months ago

Ok now that he has a job CAN WE PLEASE FINALLY MOVE ON?I mean are we going to do 100 stories on Mason and Terry Allen also enough already!.

Im glad for his health and family now it is time to move on.

Let us worry about KU Football and HCCW, and what it will take for us to get back to respectability.


DanR 8 months ago

Great story, TK.

I never doubted what Mangino could do as a football coach, but my hat's off to him if he can lose weight in Youngstown. I spent four years there in the late 90s, eating my way from one end of Mahoning Valley to the other, and--holy pierogi--there's some good restaurants in that notch of the rust belt. Throw in easy access to Handel's ice cream, and surely I'd be dead if I still lived there.

The Stoops and Pelini families, Jim Tressel, Mangino and Lou Holtz from down the road a, that area has produced some great football minds.


kujhawkfan 8 months ago

In Mark Mangino's final season at KU, a team with very high expectations started 5-0 and lost 7 consecutive games to finish the season. The Magino Era was known for one magical season in which we didn't play OU or Texas and the rest of the conference was down. Lets not forget that the AD who everyone is blaming for the firing, is the only reason we were awarded the Orange Bowl invite. No football program should celebrate these numbers over an 8 year period....

Winning record vs. only one conference school- (Iowa State) 23-41 conference record 10-28 road record


Hammertoe 8 months ago

In 8 years at KU, Mangino had one winning season in conference play. His overall record is 18 games below .500. That doesn't sound very good to me.....


Glen Miller 8 months ago

I'm still pissed about Mangino being let go. He has one bad year and everyone wants to come forward and say a bunch of BS. I gurantee Perkins did everything he could to get those players to yap their gums so that the attention would be off of him. I think we all know that Perkins should have been the one packing his bags and not Mangino. I always thought and still think that Mangino was a great coach for us to have. If he were still here, I think we'd have made a few more bowls and not had these 2 win seasons.


JHWKDW 8 months ago

Well I am glad for Mangino and I hope the best for him! Glad things are ok with his wife also.I will never forget the good times we had with him and the Orange Bowl win he helped KU win.He did some good things and did some things wrong.Well things did not work out for various reasons.He is where he needs to be now.Glad he is back coaching. I want to leave it like that with him.Concerning FHCMM now it is time to move on!

Same goes for Former Head Coach Turner Gill.Yeah he did a terrible job here as a head coach, but he as a person he was a good guy.I even wish the best for him in his life after coaching here.Did not work out!That happens.That is all I have to say about FHCTG.

You know I wish we could move on, and forget about the last 2 head coaches and the debates about their faults.Both are long gone and a memory.Coaches are hired to be fired.It is rare to get a coach who is there at 1 place for a lifetime. Plus those 2 got a good amount of money they will be fine unless they go and blow all the money they got from us, and if that is the case no one can help them, and that is not our problem.

I went to the rally at Prairie Village was real awesome. Now everyone lets start talking about the future with HCCW, the 13 season, our opponents, hey I hope Dr.Z, and company start talking about the future upgrades to Memorial Stadium.I feel alot of people out there want not just the Basketball but the Football and other sports to be successful at KU.I really think Dr Z wants that also. RCJH in 13.I hope we can turn this thing around.


KUSHELLY 8 months ago

Well said Coach Wolford!

"Quite frankly, there’s proof now they got rid of the wrong guy. Know what I mean? My opinion is they got rid of the wrong guy first."


Janet Scott 8 months ago

Keegs, next take the long view and write an in-depth perspective about KU football over 50 years and why it has been near deplorable over that time. Go behind the scenes, be brutally honest; and include the often hapless KU administration's support and influence in KU football being a "pile of crap" for much of the past 5 decades. Would be interesting reading.


Randy Bombardier 8 months ago

The whole affair seems to be just another example of what happens when values become skewed. It seems to me that ambition was in play, ingratitude, impatience, indiscretion and so on. Perkins and Mangino were both at fault...they're human. Glad things are going well for him. I think he could have gotten another job if he wanted it. I mean not like he needs the money like the rest of us. My favorite MM win was the blow out of Nebraska. I often wondered if Osborne didn't really sell Perkins on Gill as payback for that historic rout of the Huskers.

Other than that, glad he was here, Glad Weis is here and I am not expecting him (Weis) to go anywhere soon no matter how successful he is. There will be those who start or try to start rumors every year after we get back to beating KSU on a regular basis. But I hope HCCW is here for a very long time.


Jim Jackson 8 months ago

A good buddy of mine worked on Mangino's staff from 07-09 and quoted Mangino as saying: " I have your career in one hand, and your family in the other, you better not let Baylor score." This was directed towards Clint Bowen when he was asst D-coordinator is not an embellishment. Mangino was a POS and I am glad he is not here anymore.

Rock Chalk, looking forward to going bowling this season!


Lance Hobson 8 months ago

Perkins fired Mangino because he was fat. He thought he didn't pose a good enough image. I hate fat people as much as the next guy but Mangino was about the only winner KU ever had in football and Perkins blew it. Perkins needed to leave Mangino alone and worry about the thieves in the ticket office. Just a horrible decision to fire him, and handled very poorly as well.

Listening to Wolford was painful. Because it's all painfully true.


mahkmood 8 months ago

Keegan, thanks for this great article. Mangino was all about building a football program, and he did it. Mangino was a perfect fit for KU because despite winning an Orange Bowl and many awards (Home Depot Coach of the Year Award, Walter Camp Coach of the Year, Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year, Paul "Bear" Bryant Award, Woody Hayes National Coach of the Year) nobody else wanted to hire him away from KU. He would still be at KU today if not fired, and still winning lots of games and bowls. Charlie Weis might field some great KU teams, but do we really think he will stick around after success? No way. This is a rebuilding for Weis's collegiate coaching reputation and his retirement account. What KU did to Mangino seems unforgivable. They destroyed his reputation nationally by publicly tagging him an "abusive coach", and consequently his career options all but died. After 4 years the guy is an assistant coach at Youngstown State! Ok, there were the family and medical issues, but come on! KU did not have to destroy Mangino the way they did - and just 2 years after a 12-1 w/ Orange Bowl victory! KU should publish a formal apology to Mangino, and bring him back after Weis takes off for greener pastures.


Sam Constance 8 months ago


In short, while I will always have a spot in my heart for what Mangino did for KU football, I have always felt that he was not the long-term solution here. I also think the way he was removed was garbage, and I will never stop being bitter at the fact that Perkins had no plan in place to succeed Mangino, which can be verified by the solution he provided us.

I'm glad to see that Mangino's health is in a much better spot, and I tend to agree with TexHouHawk--I'm not sure he would have found the motivation to change if he had continued to succeed and coach at KU. It's funny that in the long run, two entities (Mangino and KU) got what was probably (remains to be seen, but still) best for them in the long run, but it forced them both into some severely trying times. And they were both pushed down that path by a man who is genuinely a crappy person. I'm also happy to hear that Mangino's wife has fully recovered.

But I'm not sad that he's no longer at KU.


Sam Constance 8 months ago

I'm still a firm believer that our collective memory of Mangino's accomplishments here at KU is not as glowing if his replacement wasn't a bumbling fool who was in way over his head and took the slide that started under Mangino's tenure and turned it into a full-on march to the rock bottom.

The Orange Bowl season was fantastic, and easily the highest I have ever felt as a KU football fan. But we're not being honest with ourselves if we don't recognize that there was some serendipity that allowed us to make it to that fantastic game that year. As well as some fortune with the opponent we got to match up with in the game itself. I don't say this to downplay the accomplishment, as we can now say we are the winners of a BCS bowl game whereas Misery is still hunting for one.

But where I really get annoyed at the overly-favorable memory of Mangino's term is in the subsequent years after our Orange Bowl title. Yes, he made a bowl in 2008, but it was the Insight Bowl for a team that started the season ranked 11th and had a lot of talent back from the Orange Bowl team. We lost to South Florida by a field goal because we couldn't execute down the stretch, got lambasted at home by Texas Tech, 63-21, lost at Nebraska, again because we couldn't execute down the stretch after playing close all afternoon, and got blasted by Texas at home, 35-7.

And then in 2009, we all know what happened--Mangino gave us the first seven losses in our embarrassing conference losing streak, and in spite of revisionist suggestions, we had three losses under our belts (Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas Tech) before the controversy started. I think people forget that part of what made Perkins feel like he had the ammo to oust Mangino was the fact that there were some allegations in ADDITION to his on-field slippage over the last two years. If KU had come out and won against Colorado (a game we should have won, ranked 17th in the country) or played respectably against Oklahoma at home or Texas Tech, I'm not sure Perkins would have felt bold enough to start the witch hunt. I went to the game against KSU in Manhattan that year and it was pretty clear that our days of beating the Wildcats under Mangino were over, now that Ron Prince was gone. Snyder's team completely controlled that game in spite of having a markedly less-talented team.

(to be concluded...)


Jack Jones 8 months ago

Thanks for bringing us up to date with Coach Mangino. Glad to know that he's back on the field doing what he loves, and sharing his football expertise with young men. Congratulations, Coach ~ for this, as well as the health related decisions and corresponding weight loss. First things first ~ right? Also, pleased to hear of the positive news regarding Mary Jane ~ good for both of you. Now I have two college football teams to follow this season. Best wishes ~ and look forward to your return to a Head Coaching position ~ should that be you and your families decision.


Robert Brown 8 months ago

Great article. Perhaps everything does happen for a reason. I do wonder what would have happened has Mangino taken KU to a third straight bowl in 2009. Someone mentioned the Colorado game and MU game was lost in the closing seconds.

For his health, the time off was probably the best thing for Mangino. I know some people have some revisionist history about what he accomplished. We had one magical year and several years where we ended up at bowl eligibility or close. With that said, it is a lot better than where we are today or where we were before Mangino.

I know some day, Mangino will be invited back to the stadium and get his name put up with the other KU greats..


Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 months ago

Correction......."cigar-chewing Perkins will NOT correct"



Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 months ago

Wow, I thought I was going to be alone here, the loose gate swinging in the wind!!

This points up a long standing problem at KU, a losing programs in football with all the emphasis on Basketball.

Basketball, Basketball, Basketball uber alles!!!!!

Coach Mangino had a great record at OU, with a National Championship team. I truly felt that when he came here that things would be different at KU.

Wrong. Just plain wrong. He could not overcome the incessant griping and complaining from the impatient fans. He could not make any headway with the enctenched "Basketball" program (NBA Academy). He suffered from the idiots that made something about his weight.

Now he has returned to his alma mater and more friendly surroundings (Coach Bob Stoops (Oklahoma) also came from Youngstown State) and they seem to have some insight to college football programs, This is non-existant at KU

Again KU is rated at the doormat in the Big 12, something that will probably occur.

There is a real systemic problem with the KU football program that even ridding the department of cigar-chewing Perkins will correct.


kay_you 8 months ago

There is no one gladder that Mark Mangino is gone from Kansas than us K-State fans. This would be his 12th season at KU and at 56 he would still have quite a few years left. What a shame.


Mangino_Maniac 8 months ago

"My opinion is they got rid of the wrong guy first. That guy (Perkins) was definitely out to get him and as a head coach you probably feel that or sense that. It was obviously putting a negative spin on Mark Mangino that was way off base. It’s not him.”

So true!

Awesome to see Coach Mangino happy and moving forward. I hope one day to be as thrilled as a fan as when watching Reesing throw to Meier on fourth down to take the lead against Mizzou. Those were some sweet days for KU football! With Heaps here, maybe it will be this year!

Go KU.


iamakufan 8 months ago

He did a good job on the field but what I remember about Mark Mangino, besides what is in this article about player abuse, is his blowing up at the official at his son's game, his blasting the campus cops because they ticketed his car for illegal parking, and his comments that expressed a feeling of entitlement because he's the football coach and can do what he wants. It was that attitude that I didn't like in addition to the allegations of player abuse. There were too many of those allegations, credible allegations, to all be false. We lost a good field leader but I am glad he's not around here any more.


kusully 8 months ago

Great column Keegs! As you have heard me say consistently for 5 years, I would take Mangino back today if he was available. No offense to Charlie W but KU football was relevant when Mark was here. I only hope they will be again. Congratulations to Coach Mangino on the weight loss...that's wonderful news!


littlerichard 8 months ago

"One thing I’ll say, eight years, every single day, I gave the people at the University of Kansas my 100 percent. I gave everything I had to try to make that football program better and I’m proud of that.”

That is 100% true. I will always love the Buddha for what he did for KU football..


MartyrMangino 8 months ago

Let's call it like it is, we railroaded the best football coach our school has ever had after the administration convinced KU fans that Coach Mangino was doing borderline criminal things to the players. Coach Mangino never did anything illegal, and in the vicissitude of Turner Gill's arrival all of the sanctimonious attitude turned into animosity toward Coach Mangino and turned our players into cowards.

Coach Mangino basically reinvented KU football. Does anybody remember what gameday on the hill was like before he arrived? The stadium, facilities, and culture are all better now thanks to him. Obviously we didn't get to where we all wanted, but it wasn't for any lack of effort on Coach Mangino's part.

Thanks for all the memories coach. Your teams put a lot of goalposts in Potter Lake, and they always tried their hardest.


Brett McCabe 8 months ago

Best part of the article is where he says he holds no grudges, loves KU and is moving on. Good advice for many of the posters on this site. It's over. Gill is gone. We have a new coach. Buy some tickets and show up on Sept. 7


Lance Meier 8 months ago

Glad to hear MM is doing well along with his wife... Both Mangino and Perkins did some good things at KU, but in the end both did enough crap to get ousted too!!! I hate to hear Reesing was hurt and couldn't throw passes, well get him out of there and rest him for a week or two then back to work. Now saying that and doing it R two different things, his back-up??? Whomever that was, I would guess had no reason to B on the field, so Reesing was the best/only option??? There were way TOO MANY instances where Mangino was caught in a lie and the truth came out only after more and more situations came under fire. Also, if Ur winning a lot of these same things get pushed to the back burner and if Ur not winning they get moved to the forefront... Some of the stuff that came out about MM, make me sick. BUT, he had to B a certain way to get the KU football program back from the dead, I believe he thought he could do anything he wanted and no one was going to tell him different? I think it all comes down to wins and losses, he started to lose and those indiscretions were coming out into the open, he dug his own grave. It just took awhile for him to complete his own burial...


Bryce Landon 8 months ago

He made the program better, which is why it sucks so bad to go right back where we started after he left.


Fortesque Beagleton 8 months ago

Everybody at KU was always pulling for Mangino, and I for one am so glad he's landed on his feet and is coaching again. There's ALOT to be said about his ouster from KU. The Mangino we saw from 2003 to 07 reminds me alot of the guy in this article. Something changed after the Orange Bowl and the guy forgot how to have fun and enjoy the game. We all no that Lew was the ringleader of the Mangino witch hunt, but let's not forget during that last season watching the players give up on him. He lost control of the ship and it was spinning in circles, rudderless. At the time I thought there needed to be a change, but I hated how Lew went about doing it so publicly and underhanded. What's the difference? When Weis (who was a GREAT hire) ever retires I would welcome back Mangino without a second thought. Lew, however, can suck it.


akgjenkintown 8 months ago

Mangino is not a dirty word in Kansas or at KU. It will be hard pressed for someone to duplicate, let alone exceed the success he had at KU (Weis will only need to go 11-1 to get to .500). Perkins was hired to improve the finances for KU athletic department, which he did. But he also pissed many people off during his tenure. Good or bad, his efforts lead to many upgrades in athletic facilities and a much healthier athletics program. His relationship with Mangino was never clear, but he jumped at the chance to replace him after a bad season and the player abuse "scandal". Perkins' demise will always be tied to the football program and replacing the best football coach at KU in decades with Gill was his downfall. If Gill had been successful, Perkins would likely have survived his indiscretions. The good news is Zenger is up for the task, and has better people skills. Hopefully Weis can help turn the football program around and finish with a .500 or better record (which would be a mini-miracle) when he retires.


BringBackMark 8 months ago

Great article. Hard to believe what the program had risen to and where it is today. Maybe Weis can regain some of it. It's very frustrating to make K-State fans happy by chasing off the best coach we've had in almost 50 years, if not ever.


Janet Scott 8 months ago

Mangino took a horrible KU program and got it on a winnning track, with a stable of very good players. His teams were enjoyable to watch. Am pleased he is back to coaching and is enjoying life.


Mo Golany 8 months ago

Interesting timing of this article. Let's focus on this team and Charlie Weis especially after a open practice scrimmage. Loved Mangino and his time here though.


Cmill1221 8 months ago

As a Vegas local and witness of probably the only program worse than KU the last 3 years I would love to see him as the Head Coach at UNLV next year!


JayHawkFanToo 8 months ago

Keep sawing wood Coach Mangino; most KU fans remember you fondly.


Mark Lindrud 8 months ago

I'm sure he learned from the KU experience. If he's a better person now then there you go. You learn from the past so you can get better, and it sounds like he's doing just that. Good luck MM, and one day he'll be a head coach again.


Phil Leister 8 months ago

Dude looks good, and this was a great article. It's interesting to daydream about what this program would look like had Mangino never been ousted. He did lose 7 in a row to end things, but based on his previous few years, those 7 losses are an enigma and not something I expect would have continued. Oh well!


Adam McEwen 8 months ago

I don't understand why there is this idea that Mangino is the bad guy or should be seen in a negative light. As I see it, 99% of KU supporters loved the guy and were sad to see him go. Lew Perkins is another story...if Lew has any concern for his physical well being, he will never set foot in Kansas again. Mark will be back at the top soon. I knew he was something special when I saw the intensity that his players who weren't the best or biggest athletes played with, Gabe Toomey in particular comes to mind. I remember thinking early on in the Mangino days that if he could get this undersized guy to sacrifice himself like that, and make plays he shouldn't have been capable of making, that we were going to be good. He's a hell of a coach, I don't care what anyone says.


Andy Tweedy 8 months ago

Good luck, coach! You certainly look like you've lost a ton of weight. 2007 seems so long ago...


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