Mark Mangino made his first official announcement as Kansas University's football coach Thursday, confirming he's named three assistants to his staff.
Former Southern Methodist University defensive backs coach/special teams coordinator Pat Henderson, a letterwinner for the Jayhawks in 1973, has returned to KU as its secondary coach, the school said in a statement.
"We're pleased to have a coach the caliber of Pat in our program," Mangino said. "He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our staff."
Henderson, 49, has coached at SMU, Tulsa, Texas Christian University, Purdue, Arizona State, Indiana State, the University of Nebraska-Omaha and Coffeyville Community College during his 26-year career.
The release also confirmed that Travis Jones and Clint Bowen assistants under former head coach Terry Allen will be retained by Mangino.
"Travis and Clint are enthusiastic and dedicated young coaches," Mangino said. "They have a love and passion for our program."
Jones, in his first year at Kansas after serving as Appalachian State's linebackers coach/recruiting coordinator for three seasons, will continue to be the Jayhawks' defensive line coach. He was a two-year starter at defensive tackle for Georgia.
"Absolutely I'm excited," said Jones, who was on the road recruiting Thursday. "KU's a great place to live, it's a great community in Lawrence and Kansas is a great school. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to continue on and get this program headed in the right direction."
Bowen's position has yet to be determined. The former Lawrence High and KU player coached the tight ends and special teams during his first season as a full-time coach at his alma mater.
A fourth aide, former Ohio State graduate assistant Brandon Blaney, also is believed to be on board, but wasn't mentioned in the statement.
Contrary to rumors running rampant on the Internet on Thursday, Olathe North High coach Gene Wier hasn't been offered a position.
"I don't even know how to turn that thing on," Wier quipped, "so I haven't seen anything."
Footballscoop.com, a Web site about college football coaches, reported that Wier will be KU's defensive backs coach the position that has been filled by Henderson.
Wier said the report was news to him, but confirmed he had spoken with Mangino about O-North running back Maurice Mack and Wier's interest in KU.
"We had a very informal conversation at the end of a recruiting visit," Wier said. "He was very courteous, very professional. He explained the process and I felt very good in the interest he showed. We visited not just about that, but in general about Kansas football. I think he's taking time to listen to people and gather opinions.
"He said there was some other things he had to do first and he'd get back to me."
Another coach who has surfaced as a possible addition to the Kansas staff is Iowa State assistant head coach/wide receivers Nick Quartaro.
Other names being bandied about include former Kansas City Chiefs center Tim Grunhard, Kansas State assistants Matt Miller and Paul Dunn, Oklahoma assistants Cale Gundy and Steve Spurrier Jr., and high school coaches Kelly Donohoe of Blue Springs (Mo.) and Brooks Barta of Holton.
Wier, who has led the Eagles to five of the last six Class 6A state championships, has said more than once he's interested in coaching at Kansas. His son, Brandon, recently completed his senior season at KU, where he served as special teams captain.
If nothing were to pan out for the elder Wier at KU, though, he'd be just as happy to continue coaching at Olathe North.
"I'm not job hunting at all," Wier said. "This came about, and someone asked if I had an interest and I do have an interest. I would like to be at that level."
Mangino certainly seemed to make an impression on Wier, who has compiled a 175-34 record during his 30 years of coaching.
"I feel good that he's doing what's best for Kansas football," Wier said. "I hope it includes me, but I'll understand if it doesn't. I know enough of those players and I'm thinking of them, too. I want what's best for them and the program. I think I could contribute and I think he does, too. He said he wants to get the right people in the right positions and I think he's going to do that.
"I appreciate that he wants to be very thorough and make sure to be patient. In the long run, that's a benefit to me. I don't want to be hired on a whim only to have somebody later not want me in there. I want to be hired with patience. I feel very good about our visit," he added.