2007 KU Football Press Conference Nov. 20
- Aqib Talib talks about how Mark Mangino recruited him to KU
- Derek Fine talks about the biggest game he has yet to play in during his five-year Jayhawk career
- Jake Sharp talks about the added excitement that comes with playing at Arrowhead Stadium
- James McClinton talks about KU's biggest defensive test yet this season
- Marcus Henry talks about lining up against a Mizzou defense that has come up big against big opponents
- Mark Mangino meets with the media as he prepares to coach his biggest game yet at KU against No. 3 Missouri this Saturday
- Phillip Strozier talks about his potential role filling in for Kendrick Harper against a potent MU pass offense
- Todd Reesing talks about facing a very underrated Missouri defense Saturday
The Border War 2007
The epitaph for Al Bohl's reign as athletic director at Kansas University has read "The guy who held the driveway news conference and accused Roy Williams of holding him like a dove in his hand and choosing to crush him instead of set him free, and the AD who understaffed compliance."
As each Saturday passes, an eraser is being taken to that epitaph and being replaced by, "The athletic director who hired Mark Mangino to coach football at Kansas and brought back tailgating."
Hiring football coaches is Bohl's specialty.
He hired Nick Saban at Toledo, and when he left for an NFL coordinator job, Bohl hired Gary Pinkel, now coaching against Mangino in the biggest Kansas-Missouri football game in the history of the oldest college football rivalry west of the Mississippi River.
"In talking with Mark, I recognized early that he was special," Bohl said. "As Mark interviewed, just as when Nick and Gary interviewed, there are going to be very, very impressive things they say, and how they handle themselves lets you know they are organized individuals. They know what they're doing. And in the case of hiring Mark at Kansas and Gary at Toledo, you have to realize you are not hiring somebody to be the Oklahoma coach. They understood what it takes to be the underdog in recruiting battles and still win."
Bohl said that Saban, Mangino and Pinkel all shared a common trait that helped them get hired. Each man knew one side of the ball at an extremely high level, Bohl said.
"Nick Saban is a defensive genius," Bohl said. "Both Gary and Mark had been offensive coordinators, Mark at Oklahoma and Gary at the University of Washington. Anybody can look at both those teams and realize they have got some pretty special and interesting coaches. They have a unique and special understanding of the game. Both those guys have a knack for offensive football."
How else are they similar?
"Both of them are extremely well organized," Bohl said. "I would challenge you to go out to a Gary Pinkel practice or a Mark Mangino practice and not be amazed at how well organized their practices are. Everything is so well organized, so well defined. You're not going to see people standing around. Both have a tremendous work ethic. Neither one stops until they are thoroughly prepared."
"It's pretty obvious now that they both have a keen eye for quarterbacks," Bohl said, referencing KU's Todd Reesing and Missouri's Chase Daniel. "You and I could go look at (Florida quarterback) Tim Tebow and say, 'Gosh, that guy can go play college football anywhere he wants.' Mark and Gary can look at a 6-foot, 5-10 guy and say, 'This guy's a leader. This guy's got it.' Whatever 'it' is, they've got 'it' and they get it done in a game."
Any other similarities?
"Both are very strong family men, which is very important," said Bohl, who also hired Pat Hill at Fresno State.
Bohl, who resides in St. Augustine, Fla., said he would be doing a book signing in Jacksonville on Saturday afternoon for his latest novel, "Getting to Thanksgiving." He'll be home in time watch the game.
"I root for people," he said when asked which team he wants to win the game. "I'm happy for both those coaches. I'm glad they are going to be showcased in one of the most exciting games of the year."