Cliff's Notes version: Mark Mangino press conference, 11/24/09
Here is the Cliff's Notes version of Kansas football coach Mark Mangino's comments at his press conference today.
• Players of the game, voted on by the coaching staff: Offense: Dezmon Briscoe; Defense: Justin Thornton; Special teams: Dezmon Briscoe; Offensive scout team: Receiver Reece Petty; Defensive scout team: Defensive end Shane Smith.
• KU did all it could to compete with Texas, but UT was just the better team.
• Mangino says he believes he has had a good working relationship with athletic director Lew Perkins.
• After being asked if he would want to coach at KU going forward, Mangino said that he has a lot of hard work invested into Kansas. Players have made great investments and assistant coaches have great investments. Mangino has put every waking moment of his life into this football program. When he's not at work, he's still at work. He's put his heart and soul into this program.
• Mangino says he has had overwhelming support from players, fans, coaches on his team, coaches on other teams and complete strangers. Mangino has received lots of emails and text messages in the last week. Mangino regrets that he can't return all of the messages yet because he's focused on Missouri. Some players that have contacted Mangino are Marcus Henry, Nick Reid, Brandon McAnderson and Charles Gordon. Mangino thinks he's appreciated by a lot of people. He just doesn't know who everybody is that appreciates him.
• Mangino on whether he believes this is his last game: "No. I'm coaching, and I'm focused on coaching," Mangino said. He says he's focused on Missouri. The preparation is all the same. The coach is moving full-speed ahead.
• If Mangino's tenure here is based only on the MU game, that would be a sad day for everyone.
• Mangino thinks the players believe in what the coaches are doing. The seniors still have a chance to leave a legacy with three straight bowl games. The kids aren't distracted. They won't be. They understand all the hard work invested can still pay off by winning against MU.
• One of Mangino's regrets about the situation is that not many people in the media wrote about Todd Reesing's return to Austin, Texas, last week. He thinks many people missed an opportunity to write about a great player returning home last week.
• Mangino said KU is not going to take MU lightly. "We're not fools," Mangino said. From everything he's heard, six wins would get KU into a bowl.
• MU's offense is unique and gives teams trouble. The Tigers give you a lot of different looks, and you have to prepare for a lot of different things.
• Safety Lubbock Smith is day-to-day. It will probably be a gametime decision.
• Mangino says he and Todd Reesing have had a great time at KU together. Mangino has enjoyed being around Reesing and his wit. "He's a wonderful kid," Mangino said. Reesing's a smart guy, and the two occasionally talk about economics and the market. The coach would love to see Reesing go out in style this weekend.
• Arrowhead Stadium is a great atmosphere, though it's not necessarily a true college football atmosphere. When you win the game, you think it's a good idea to play in Arrowhead. When you lose the game, you think it's a bad idea. That's the way coaches think.
• Mangino sees two talented young men in quarterbacks Kale Pick and Jordan Webb. Both are bright guys. They've both watched Reesing closely and have learned things from him.
• Kerry Meier is a phenomenal player and person. Kerry is a unique individual. He possesses traits that you don't normally see in a college student. He's a guy that like to give and also is unselfish. Mangino tells his players all the time that he can't always remember former players' stats, but he does remember their character. And Meier will be remembered for a long time. Mangino won't remember the number of catches that Meier had, but he will remember his character.
• Darrell Stuckey has made the most of his ability. KU was his only Division-I offer. He's another guy that reaches out to others. Who knows what the final record of this team will be, but the character of the players is what will mean the most to Mangino.