New Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino could be close to announcing some members of his staff maybe even as early as today sources told the Journal-World on Saturday.
Mangino has been in Norman, Okla., since Wednesday, but is returning to Lawrence today.
"This is my last night here so I'm enjoying the Oklahoma air," Mangino said from his home Saturday night, "spending time with my family and packing up the car."
Mangino, who is expected to meet with members of the current KU staff as well as any newcomers this afternoon, continued to keep coaching candidates close to his vest.
"The search is going very well," Mangino said. "I will take my time and find the right people I can for my staff. There are a lot of experienced candidates for all the positions that I'm talking to, interviewing and those types of things.
"We're well on our way and I don't feel rushed at all."
Mangino didn't talk about any specific candidates.
His only known hire so far is Ohio State graduate assistant Brandon Blaney, a source said. Blaney was a GA during the 2000 season at Oklahoma, where Mangino served as assistant head coach/offensive coordinator.
Another new assistant also is expected to be in Lawrence today, but his identity wasn't known.
At least one coach, Miami defensive backs coach Mark Stoops, has declined an offer to join the Jayhawks. Stoops, OU coach Bob Stoops' younger brother, was approached about being KU's defensive coordinator.
"He's out," a source said of the younger Stoops. "Miami's a pretty good job."
Mangino asked Mississippi offensive coordinator/offensive line coach John Latina to be KU's offensive coordinator, but Latina reportedly declined and likely is headed to OU instead.
Two current Kansas State assistants offensive line coach/running game coordinator Paul Dunn and tight ends coach Matt Miller are being courted by Kansas, sources told the Journal-World. Dunn might be added as offensive coordinator and Miller as quarterbacks coach.
Former Kansas City Chiefs center Tim Grunhard also has expressed interest in working for Mangino and reportedly has an interview lined up for Tuesday. Grunhard hosts a sports talk show for a KC radio station.
Olathe North High coach Gene Wier whose son, Brandon, served as KU's special teams captain this season also publicly has stated he'd like to join the Jayhawks. Mangino reportedly already has spoken to Maurice Mack, the Eagles' standout running back, about coming to Kansas as well.
Two current KU aides, defensive line coach Travis Jones and tight ends/special teams coach Clint Bowen, reportedly have been asked to remain on board.
Neither Jones nor Bowen would comment on their status Saturday, though.
"We had a good meeting," Jones said, referring to Wednesday's face-to-face conversation with Mangino. "He's a good person. I haven't had any formal discussions. I interviewed with him like he did with everyone here on the staff.
"It was a good meeting, a good interview."
Added Bowen, "I got a chance to talk to coach Mangino. I had a good talk with him. I feel good about the future and I'm looking forward to getting going."