Many names in news have ties to KU football


For the fifth year in a row, Kansas University sat out the college football bowl season, which coincides with coach hiring/firing season. However, many making headlines during the past month of festive football games and optimism-filled, introductory news conferences for coaches had ties to KU football.

Mark Mangino: Now that the former KU head coach has moved from Youngstown State to Iowa State, Oklahoma State is the only current Big 12 school that was part of the Big Eight when Mangino first worked in the conference for Kansas State that has not employed him. The Cyclones’ new offensive coordinator does have orange in his background, however, having won the 2008 Orange Bowl.

John Reagan: Offensive line coach at KU under Mangino, Reagan left his post at Rice after coordinating the Owls’ offense in a 41-24 victory against Marshall in the Conference USA championship game to return to KU. He was not on hand to try to help the overmatched Owls in a 44-7 loss to Mississippi State in the Liberty Bowl.

Charlie Strong: Coming off a 12-1 season capped by a 36-9 demolition of Miami (Fla.), the Louisville coach takes over for ousted Mack Brown at Texas. It wasn’t the first time he interviewed for a Big 12 job. Strong, then an assistant at South Carolina, was one of three candidates to have an in-person interview with then-KU athletic director Al Bohl, according to a former KU athletic department official. The Dec. 1, 2001 interview took place in Bohl’s home, later noted for Bohl’s dramatic “crushed me like a dove” driveway press conference in which the AD fingered basketball coach Roy Williams for his tenure ending. Strong and wife Vicki flew in and out of KCI the same day the interview took place.

Mark Dantonio: The Michigan State head coach had the season of his life, leading the Spartans to a No. 3 national ranking, a 13-1 record and a Rose Bowl championship earned in a 24-20 victory against rugged Stanford. A look at Dantonio’s resume might lead most to the conclusion that after four seasons as secondary coach under Glen Mason at Kansas (1991-94), Dantonio left for Michigan State because it had a better football program. Not so, according to multiple former KU staffers who say Mason showed Dantonio the door, opening an opportunity for him to work on Nick Saban’s staff at Michigan State.

J.B. Grimes: Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn took Grimes with him from Arkansas State to coach the offensive line. Auburn led the nation in rushing with Grimes, O-line coach at Kansas for Turner Gill’s two seasons, instructing the blockers.

Geneo Grissom: The former Hutch High defensive end turned teammate Eric Striker’s sack-fumble into a touchdown during No. 6 Oklahoma’s 45-31 upset of Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Grissom, who has one season of eligibility remaining, also had two sacks of his own.

Grissom had made a verbal commitment to Kansas. After Mangino was fired, Grissom let it be known he would honor his commitment as long as linebackers coach Bill Miller was retained by the next staff. Miller was sent packing and Grissom signed with Oklahoma. Grissom started his OU career as a defensive end, was switched to tight end, then back to his original position. With the amazing hands he showed on a 54-yard interception return for a touchdown vs. Texas, it looks as if he might have been a good tight end too.

Tom Hayes: Defensive coordinator for Kansas State, winner of the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, which is played not in Buffalo, rather in Tempe, Ariz. Hayes was KU’s defensive coordinator/secondary coach in 2001, when he took over as interim head coach for three games after Terry Allen was fired. Hayes interviewed for the head coaching job in Bohl’s home. During that interview, Bohl twice excused himself to take calls he received on his cell phone, according to former KU officials, who said they later learned those calls were from Mangino.


Phil Leister 4 years, 5 months ago

What does Roy Williams getting fingered by the AD have to do with anything?

Andrew Horigan 4 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, I think Keegan could have left that part out.

Brandon Mahon 4 years, 5 months ago

Wow look at all the successful people we have had come through the program and or have had solid contact with yet... We continue to be mediocre. I do not understand this, how do we not get keep a hold of any of these people. Hopefully Reagan can be a turnaround for us and we finally keep a successful coach. Those names are incredible.. Imagine where we would be if we kept or promoted Dantonio, kept Grimes, or kept Miller as LB coach and kept Grissom.. We missed out on a star play with that one... And didnt we have stud LB when Miller was coach?? Oh ya we did two of them.

We have missed out on great talent like Strong, and have had trouble keeping talent around.. or we just let them go... We need to change that to become successful, so hopefully bring Bowen and Reagan, and keeping Mitchell will finally change that and we keep some successful assistants that can turn into more.

Brandon Mahon 4 years, 5 months ago

Also I am just wondering when we will possibly see coaching changes if any... AKA the QB and WR coaches.... We have had no turn in talent and it doesn't seem like any of them have been groomed or developed. WR seems like one of the biggest needs next to DL and OL

W Keith Swinehart II 4 years, 5 months ago

Some continuity and stability will help. I feel that our AD, Zenger, is solidly grounded and will maintain that posture.

Ashwin Rao 4 years, 5 months ago

TK is sensationalizing this unnecessarily. It is all a conjecture until it happens. Some of it didn't happen, and we are where we are. Some of it (firings/showing-of-doors) happened, and the folks took that and made something out of it... There is nothing here, so let us read and move on.

Mike Ellis 4 years, 5 months ago

Tyler Patmon at OSU...had a pretty good game when my 2nd favorite team (whoever is playing Mizzou) lost it's bowl bid.

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