Archive for Wednesday, December 5, 2001

Receiver Hill happy to join Mangino finally

December 5, 2001


Six years, three schools, three jobs and two states later, Mark Mangino finally landed Harrison Hill.

"That's the longest recruiting story in history," Mangino said with a smile. "It took me six years to get the guy on my team. I finally had to give up and go join him."

Hill, who was recruited by Mangino when Mangino was an assistant at Kansas State, had nothing but good things to say about his new coach.

"I heard his name mentioned as a possibility and I wanted him," said Hill, a wide receiver who expects to return to Kansas for his sixth season after the NCAA officially grants him another year of eligibility because of an injury he suffered in the second game last season. "I respect him and know him pretty well. I'm anxious to get things started in the spring.

"Maybe there's a reason I got hurt and got this extra year."

Hill was one of a handful of football players in John Hadl Auditorium during the announcement Tuesday afternoon.

Byron Gasaway and Leo Ettienne sat in the middle of the front row. Hill sat across the aisle, and Mario Kinsey and Reggie Duncan stood against the back wall.

A few hours later, all the Jayhawks met Mangino at a team meeting.

There were surely a lot of questions on the players' minds about the new coach.

After the press conference finished, Kansas' players said they were satisfied with what they heard.

"He's been at K-State and Oklahoma," Hill said. "He knows how to win and he knows the recruiting area. That's a big plus."

Kinsey was especially happy with what he heard about the current players' status and offensive scheme.

"When we heard him say that he wasn't going to completely rearrange the offense and that he would try to work with what he had here for now, there was a big sigh," said Kinsey, KU's top returning quarterback.

Duncan, a running back, said Mangino had instant credibility.

"He helped coach a national champion," he said. "You have to respect that and listen to what he says because he knows what he's talking about."

The respect that Mangino will get from his players is something that Kansas needs, Kinsey said.

"There are a lot of bad attitudes around here," he said, "but I know that's going to change."

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