Former KU Coach, Mark Mangino Back In Coaching

By: Youngstown State Athletics Email
By: Youngstown State Athletics Email

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March 1, 2013

This will be a homecoming of sorts for the native of nearby New Castle, Pa., and a reunion with Coach Wolford. Wolford played for Mangino at Kansas State and they coached together at the school when Wolford was a graduate assistant working with the offensive line.

"This is a homecoming for me," Mangino said. "I'm delighted to be at a great school with a great football tradition with a team and coach poised to do great things. Every coaching job I have ever taken was a rebuilding project, but this program is not rebuilding. This program has the potential to have a very good year and that's a credit to Eric Wolford, his staff and his team."

"I am a big believer in Coach Wolford's 'no shortcuts' approach that focuses on getting results on and off the field. This school is near and dear to my heart and I'll work very hard with Coach Wolford to get the job done."

Mangino, a Youngstown State graduate, was the head coach at Kansas from 2002-09 where he guided the Jayhawks to a 50-48 mark during his tenure.

It's hard to give justice to all that the program accomplished under his leadership by just looking at the winning percentage as Mangino took the Jayhawks to heights never reached before in the school's history.

He guided the Jayhawks to one-third of their all-time bowl appearances (four out of 12 in 125 seasons); led KU to bowl games in consecutive years for the first time ever; posted three consecutive bowl victories for first time in school history; had eight-win seasons in consecutive years for the first time since 1908-09; had six wins in four straight seasons for the first time since 1903-06; won 20 games in a two-year period, the most in school history; brought the program into the national polls for the first time in 11 campaigns and saw the passion for KU football explode as the school set home attendance average records in a four-year span.

His "Character First" initiative helped his players become better all-around people. The goal of the program was to focus the players on being successful at life. Mangino also instituted an advanced cardio screening program while at Kansas to detect potential life-threatening heart conditions. The football program also set school records for grade-point average throughout his tenure.

In 2007, KU produced a school-record 12 wins, a share of the Big 12 North Division title and its highest final national ranking since 1968. KU finished the year ranked seventh nationally after reaching the No. 2 spot in the polls late in the campaign. The Jayhawks played in a January bowl game for the first time since 1969, posted an 11-game winning streak, defeated a top-five team (No. 5 Virginia Tech) for the first time in 13 seasons and recorded the first one-loss season for KU since 1947.

After that season, Mangino was recognized as the consensus national coach of the year. He was named the National Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, ESPN/ABC, The Sporting News, Football Writers Association, Walter Camp Football Foundation, National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, American Football Coaches Association, the Maxwell Football Club (George Munger Award) and was tabbed the Woody Hayes National Coach of the Year.

That season, three Jayhawks earned All-America honors (two first-team picks and one second) and 14 earned All-Big 12 accolades. Four Jayhawks were drafted by NFL teams following the campaign.

Also of note during his tenure, he guided the team to its first wins over Nebraska since 1968 (2005 and 2007), snapping a 36-game Cornhusker win streak. In addition, Mangino's clubs won three consecutive games against border rival Missouri and instate rival Kansas State during his years in Lawrence.

In 2009, KU won its first five games of the season and bolted up the national rankings to as high 16th in the national polls. Wins over rivals Missouri and Kansas State along with an Insight Bowl victory over Minnesota gave the Jayhawks a final mark of 8-5 in 2008.

In 2006, he led the Jayhawks to bowl-eligibility for the second straight year after the team posted a 6-6 overall record -- the first time since 1994-95 that the team was eligible to participate in a bowl contest in back-to-back years.

During the 2005 season, Mangino led the Jayhawks to their first bowl victory since 1995 as the team defeated Houston 42-13 in the Fort Worth Bowl. By appearing in the 2005 bowl game, he became the only coach in KU history to direct his team to a pair of bowl contests in a three-year span. Also, the 2005 squad posted a perfect 6-0 record at KU's Memorial Stadium - the team's first undefeated/untied season at home since 1951.

In 2004, the Jayhawks defeated rivals Kansas State and Missouri in the same season for the first time since 1989. Kansas snapped K-State's 11-game win-streak in the series by defeating the Wildcats 31-28 in Lawrence, and later tamed the Tigers 31-14 in Columbia, Mo.

In 2003, Mangino led the Jayhawks to their first bowl appearance since 1995 when the team was selected to participate in the Mazda Tangerine Bowl.

Prior to his arrival in Lawrence, Mangino played a key role in the rebuilding process at both Oklahoma (1999-2001) and Kansas State (1991-98). As assistant head coach and offensive coordinator under Bob Stoops at OU, Mangino and the Sooner staff took a program that was 5-6 in 1998 and carved out seasons of 7-5 (1999), 13-0 (2000) and 10-2 (2001).

The 2000 season saw the Sooners win the Big 12 Conference championship, finish ranked No. 1 nationally and beat Florida State in the Orange Bowl to win the national title.

Mangino was the recipient of the 2000 Frank Broyles Award as the top assistant coach in college football in the second of his three seasons as assistant head coach/offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Oklahoma.

During its run to the national championship in 2000, Mangino's Sooner offense ranked seventh nationally in scoring (39.0) and 13th in pass offense (294.7). In addition, OU averaged more than 427 yards per game. During his three years on the Sooner staff, the OU offense scored 31-or-more points in 26 games and produced 40-plus points 14 times. The Sooners averaged 34.1 points per game during those three seasons.

At Kansas State, Mangino served as recruiting coordinator, running game coordinator and, in 1998, was appointed assistant head coach. K-State went 71-23-1 with six consecutive nine-plus win seasons and played in six straight bowl games from 1991-98.

Overall, Kansas State and Oklahoma were a combined 101-30-1 and ranked in the top 25 nationally in eight of 11 seasons during Mangino's involvement on the coaching staffs.

Over a 16-year period, Mangino coached in 13 bowl games as an assistant and head coach at the FBS level. He has coached three Heisman Trophy Finalists and 35 NFL players.

Prior to his stint at Kansas State, Mangino worked one season as head football coach at Ellwood City (Pa.) High School. He spent three seasons (1987-89) as offensive line coach and as offensive coordinator at Geneva College, where he helped that program to its three best seasons (combined 24-9) in modern school history.

Mangino also coached two seasons (1985-86) at Youngstown State, serving a year with Bill Narduzzi and Jim Tressel. He earned his degree from YSU in 1987.

He and his wife, Mary Jane, are very involved in the community, donating time and resources to a number of organizations. The Manginos' daughter, Samantha Hardy lives in Tulsa, Okla., with her husband, David Hardy, and their three daughters, Gabriella, Adriana and Christina. Their son, Tommy, is a graduate assistant football coach at the University of Arkansas and lives in Fayetteville, Ark., with his wife, Danielle, and their son, Vincenzo.


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