Advertisement

Advertisement

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Keegan

Opinion: Mangino staffers keep on winning

Advertisement

One criticism leveled against Mark Mangino during his 50-48 reign as coach of a Kansas University football program trying to avoid a second consecutive bad century was that he was so hard to work for that it led to a high rate of turnover among assistants.

Mangino did have more staff defections than some — Missouri’s Gary Pinkel, for example — but he knew how to recruit quality replacements.

A look at how well members of Mangino’s last staff are doing proves as much. As for how well Mangino is doing in his role as assistant head coach/tight ends for Eric Wolford at Football Championship Subdivision school Youngstown State, the proof is in the standings. The Penguins (7-1 overall, 4-0 in Missouri Valley Conference) are tied for first with two-time defending national champion North Dakota State. The teams face each other Nov. 16. YSU’s only loss came to Football Bowl Subdivision school Michigan State.

Ed Warinner, offensive coordinator for Mangino when KU had the three highest total-yards-per-game outputs in school history, has a 19-0 record as Urban Meyer’s co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach at Ohio State. Remembered as the architect of the pass-happy spread offense Todd Reesing piloted, Warinner coached for three Army offenses that led the nation in rushing and one Air Force offense that did the same. (As a rule, Air Force puts planes in the air but not footballs.)

Mangino’s defensive coordinator Clint Bowen is back at Kansas in a similar role, except that back then he also coached safeties and now works with linebackers. KU’s defense ranks tied for 66th in the nation with 27 points allowed per game and 72nd with 402 yards allowed, heading into today’s 6 p.m. kickoff against Baylor in Memorial Stadium. Those numbers and rankings are sure to fall because KU is heading into the schedule’s toughest stretch. Still, the improvement in a defense burdened by a three-an-out machine on offense is undeniable. A year ago, KU finished 112th and 116th in points and yards.

Mangino’s O-line coach, John Reagan, is offensive coordinator/running backs coach for a Rice squad tied for first in Conference USA with a 3-0 record and is 5-2 overall, especially impressive considering the academic standards at the school. Reagan’s offense has a 2-0 record against Kansas.

Tom Sims, Mangino’s last defensive line coach, is working in the same role for Wolford at Youngstown State.

Louie Matsakis, running backs coach for Mangino, is back at Kansas as director of player personnel for Charlie Weis.

Mangino’s last linebackers coach, Bill Miller, has the title assistant head coach/linebackers for Minnesota, which is coming off a 20-17 victory at Northwestern.

David Beaty, in charge of wide receivers for Mangino and for Turner Gill in his second and final season, coaches Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel’s targets at Texas A&M.

Je’Ney Jackson, a cornerbacks coach on Mangino’s final staff, is strength and conditioning coach for Tom Crean’s Indiana basketball program. Two of the top four picks in the most recent NBA Draft — No. 2 Victor Oladipo and No. 4 Cody Zeller — came out of Jackson’s weight room.

Brandon Blaney, Mangino’s recruiting coordinator, holds the title defensive assistant for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL.

The combined record of Mangino and his last staff members — excluding Matsakis because he isn’t coaching on the field — this college football season is 38-12, a .760 winning percentage. The breakdown: Warinner (7-0), Mangino (7-1), Sims (7-1), Beaty (5-2), Miller (5-2), Reagan (5-2), Bowen (2-4).

Clearly, working for a difficult boss left former Mangino staffers well-prepared for future jobs.

Comments

Jack Jones 1 year, 1 month ago

And the relevance of this information is...................??

Doug Cramer 1 year, 1 month ago

Perkins's little witch hunt and agenda screwed our freakin program over. Plain and simple.

Jason Keller 1 year, 1 month ago

Oh wow, Keegan, open up a can of worms why don't you?

Brett McCabe 1 year, 1 month ago

Doug Cramer: are you there?

So....since we are on the topic.....let's discuss Mangino. There are some obvious things for which he deserves credit.

First, he was a good bowl coach. His record in bowl games was outstanding and, if we had gotten to a few more, he'd probably still be here.

Second, the Va. Tech win and that entire season were arguably the high-water marks in KU football history.

Third, we were competitive, almost from the start. Blowouts were uncommon after the first season. In almost every game, we had a fighter's chance of winning. There were virtually no gimmee's.

To me, those are all signs of "good coaching" in the literal sense of the word. He could get a team ready to play and compete on any given Saturday. As Keegan mentions, Mangino also was able to identify and employ good assistants - which is critical to the success of any program. I listened to a Pinkel interview this week and he pointed out how important it was that his staff had been stable as they made the move back to the confederacy.

On the negative side was Mangino's league record which was not sterling. Of course, there was the temper, which relates directly to Keegan's article and there was hit-and-miss recruiting.

What it adds up to, for me, is that Mangino can be successful in two primary ways: as a head coach with great recruiters on staff or as a coordinator where his focus is coaching and he is not asked to be a lead recruiter.

Who should hire Mangino? A service academy. Imagine his fire and coaching ability at Air Force, Army or Navy (the next time they need a coach). If I was the AD at any of those institutions, I'd hire him in a minute.

Doug Cramer 1 year, 1 month ago

Agree with every discussion point. Makes me want to puke thinking back to 2009 when the Witch Hunt was announced. Some of us tried warning others that it was a very bad move. Others thought Perkins was the god of Athletic Directors. Well...now we know...

Jim Erickson 1 year, 1 month ago

I agree with the points but disagree with the notion that he would be best suited at a service academy. The guy turned Kansas from one of the worst teams in college football to a team that went 7-5, 6-6, 12-1, and 8-5 in his last four seasons before the witch hunt. He did that with a program with minimal history, a second rate stadium, and little else to work with. If KU had a head football coach opening today, we would be lucky to get him back.

Scott Morgan 1 year, 1 month ago

Not a KU fan, but do not pull against them. Grew up all over the Midwest so I tend to follow coaches in the Big 10- Big 12. If I like the coach, then I follow the program.

I really enjoyed watching Mangino develop a respectable program. Attended games, watched practices, even dodged a errant chicken wing during a commercial break at Coach Mangino's weekly radio show.

Kansas has been a historic haven for football coaches successful efforts in making chicken salad out of xxxxxxx. If Mangino makes a successful return as a coach elsewhere, we have two local fellows ripe for a Hollywood feature movie. Coach M's life story is as fascinating as K-State Snyder's.

I would love to see him return sometime for some type of award.

Bryce Landon 1 year, 1 month ago

No, no, no - do NOT make a movie about Bill Snyder!

Joe Ross 1 year, 1 month ago

Hire Mark Mangino as assistant head coach at Kansas. He would be under the authority of Charlie Weis, but Mangino would give instant credibility to the Kansas program. He would also be a great coach. Kansas fans want him back. Kansas football needs him. Charlie Weis could use a guy like him around.

Brett McCabe 1 year, 1 month ago

Pretty good idea. A long shot for sure, but it could work.

Joe Ross 1 year, 1 month ago

Definitely a long shot, yes. But desperate times call for desperate measures. It would be a blessing to say that Kansas has been mired in mediocrity, but since his departure we can't even claim that status. We need to do SOMETHING! Something has to change or be different. MM could shake things up.

Chandler Accipiter 1 year, 1 month ago

Hey don't sell Weis' staff short! His cronies, Ianello, Powlus, and Blasko (the architects of KU's offense), managed to win 2 games in the same number of seasons at Akron before being "promoted" to the Big 12. Most coaches want proven winners, so hand it to Weis for going against the grain.

Brett McCabe 1 year, 1 month ago

This is fair. When the staff was originally announced I was a little stunned at the pedigree of the assistants. Weis explained that he needed a staff that worked together effectively. Let's hope that the chemistry of the coaches shows some dividends soon on the offensive side of the ball.

Doug Cramer 1 year, 1 month ago

If I were Stoops...I'd get Mangino back at Offensive Coordinator at OU. They would quickly get back to national contender.

Of course I'd love to have him back in Lawrence...but that ain't gonna happen.

John Waszak 1 year, 1 month ago

After 40 years of watching KU football I'm amazed at the people that want the big guy back. This is why the Kansas program has never been consistently competitive. I liked watching the Fighting Manginos as much as everyone. They were aggressive, scrappy and just generally fun to attend and watch. But, let's be realistic. The Hawks under Mangino were 50-48 overall in 8 seasons. ONLY 3 winning seasons. (don't go crazy about 4 bowls - really? most 6-6 teams get a bowl) Worse, they were 23-41 in conference with ONLY 7 conference road wins (4 during the magical Orange Bowl season). There was ONLY 1 +.500 conference season (again O Bowl season). And finally, 4 conference seasons with 0 conference wins.

Take away the Orange Bowl season and there would have been screams for his firing.

Would KU nation allow the Basketball program get to the big dance only 50% of the time, never win our conference, etc, etc. So, why be complacent with wanting to bring back a coach that honestly coached KU to the bottom half of the conference Consistently and had one great year (and I think the Orange Bowl season was a perfect storm, with a great DC - Young and OC - Warinner). So, let's move on from the good, and for 1 season, great memories.

Doug Cramer 1 year, 1 month ago

Respectfully I disagree.

I'd take Orange Bowl Victory, National Coach of the Year, and being at least competitive every year....over the last 4 seasons....and the previous 5 seasons before Mangino under Terry Allen.

Also...it's tough to supplement your argument by comparing the expectations of KU Basketball with KU football :)

John Waszak 1 year, 1 month ago

how is having 3 winning seasons in 8 years and only 3 conference road wins in the 7 non orange bowl seasons competitive?

Ethan Berger 1 year, 1 month ago

If someone could provide a quote or interview where a KU player came and defended Mangino, please who me. I understand that what happened to Mangino crippled our program but not 1 guy stepped out to defend his coach? I don't care if the AD threatened them, the players know if they came out in support, then the AD would look bad. But that my memory, if you do have something then maybe I would change my mind.

Doug Cramer 1 year, 1 month ago

Both Reesing and Meier defended him immediately.

Steve Corder 1 year, 1 month ago

The camera shots of the faces of the KU faithful said it all!

Scott Morgan 1 year, 1 month ago

Ethan, Good point, but on the field they sure played like they loved him.

Bill Hicks 1 year, 1 month ago

Well i have to add my 2 cents to this article. I have always belived KUs football problems have been because KU is NOT a football college. Every year they have terrible football seasons they say "just waite until basketball season"? They did not know how to handle winning in football, oh sure winning against K-State or Mo. was a big deal but only cause those were great rivalries. But my main point is this, Mangino was a no nonsence coach and had the misfortune of having a few cry-babies on his team. I don't know if they were scape-goats or what but they got the job done, just saying? When i played, and yes only high school, we got the holy crap ran, beat and scared out of us. If we complained we got more next time, made us better players and i believe men.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.