Archive for Friday, December 4, 2009

Two successors stand above the rest to replace Kansas coach Mark Mangino

Kansas head coach Mark Mangino scans his offense during a timeout in the Jayhawks’ game against Oklahoma on Oct. 24 at Memorial Stadium. Mangino is under investigation for allegedly poking a player.

Kansas head coach Mark Mangino scans his offense during a timeout in the Jayhawks’ game against Oklahoma on Oct. 24 at Memorial Stadium. Mangino is under investigation for allegedly poking a player.

December 4, 2009, 12:00 a.m. Updated December 4, 2009, 7:17 a.m.


I am standing on Mark Mangino’s front porch, getting berated with barks through a closed door by his dog, Yogi. I think I’ll recover and won’t do anything to try to get Yogi fired from the Mangino family.

Yogi was the only one who came to the door. The coach who elevated the Kansas football program from doormat to 12-1 Orange Bowl champions, then finished with seven consecutive losses, the last two while walking a plank, did not make himself available Thursday night. Mangino no doubt spent the night with his inner circle, which is to say his family. Yogi is a member of a very tight family and any attempt to get him fired for abusing me with yips while protecting the castle would be met with laughter.

What’s next for Mangino is anybody’s guess. Will he stay in Lawrence, move back to western Pennsylvania, or head to the next coaching job, perhaps as an offensive coordinator? Tough to say.

Lew Perkins isn’t talking either about where Kansas heads next for a football coach, but that isn’t quite as tough to determine.

Two candidates stand above the rest and all Perkins has to do is get one of them to say yes to him. Elevating Mangino’s salary to $2.3 million and sending KU legend John Hadl out to shake enough trees to build a state-of-the-art football complex makes the Kansas job an appealing one.

The two coaches, both 45, who make the most sense for Perkins to pursue played against each other in the Big Ten from 1983 to 1986, one a quarterback, the other a linebacker.

They both fit the telegenic, people-person profile Perkins seeks as the new face of the football program. Both are proven recruiters and have what it takes to relate to players and boosters, who eventually will be shaken down in an attempt to revive a Gridiron Club ready to be read its last rites.

Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, former University of Michigan and Chicago Bears quarterback, played against Kevin Sumlin, University of Houston coach and former Purdue linebacker, in college.

Harbaugh has the bigger name and likely would create greater excitement initially than Sumlin, but Sumlin is a better geographic fit as far as recruiting contacts.

Would they come to Kansas? Probably.

The knee-jerk reaction to Harbaugh’s candidacy centers on fears he would return to coach at his alma mater 14 years sooner than Roy Williams returned to his. Most think Rich Rodriguez is another losing season from getting fired by Michigan. Don’t assume Michigan would be interested in Harbaugh. Bad blood between the school and its former star is well-documented.

Harbaugh burned his bridge back to Ann Arbor during his first year as coach of Stanford when he told the San Francisco Chronicle: “Michigan is a good school and I got a good education there, but the athletic department has ways to get borderline guys in, and when they’re in, they steer them to courses in sports communications. They’re adulated when they’re playing, but when they get out, the people who adulated them won’t hire them.”

That sat well with the Stanford elite and angered Michigan officials and fans.

Why leave Stanford? Because when word leaked that Harbaugh’s pay, estimated at $750,000 in 2009, was on the verge of getting jacked to $1.25 million for 2010, many winced. Kansas can double his new and improved salary.

Harbaughs were born to coach. Jim’s father, Jack, won a Div. I-AA national title at Western Kentucky. Jim’s brother, John, is head coach of the Baltimore Ravens. His sister, Joani, is married to Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean.

The general consensus of those who are close to the program I polled Thursday night surmised Harbaugh would be the guy Perkins pursues first. If he doesn’t get him and can convince Sumlin to head north, Perkins will have landed a coach who masterfully juggles the art of at once being a strict disciplinarian and a players’ coach. One anecdote illustrates Sumlin’s ability to do so.

A reporter’s cell phone went off at a Sumlin news conference this year. The coach smiled and said, “Uh oh,” before turning to his players. “What’s our punishment for a cell phone?” Three players simultaneously said, “Twenty gassers, coach.” The players enjoy playing for him and adhere to his consistent rules.

Houston couldn’t match the estimated $1.6 million salary Baylor offered Art Briles, so it doesn’t seem possible Houston could compete with Kansas salary-wise.

Buffalo’s Turner Gill and Southern Mississippi’s Larry Fedora are appealing candidates as well, but if Perkins can land either Harbaugh or Sumlin, there is no reason to explore elsewhere.


Paul R Getto 8 years, 1 month ago

Good luck, Coach M. You will land on your feet.

shadowbox66044 8 years, 1 month ago

I bet if Few had a chance he would kick Mangino's dog.

Luck Few!

HOMETOWNBOY 8 years, 1 month ago

These crybaby college boys need to suck it up. It is a good thing they are here in the states where they can cry all they want and not overseas defending our country. I bet there was no more “abuse” placed on them then anyone who has gone through boot camp has endured. That is how they make warriors! Isn’t football supposed to be a sport for tough guys? Maybe these whiners should quit and join the debate team. At least there they can complain all they want.

Kendall Simmons 8 years, 1 month ago

I personally hope he lands on his hands and feet on hot astroturf. Sorry, but Mangino lost any sympathy or support he had from me when I saw the photos of that player's hand. That STUDENT-athlete's hand with second degree burns.

No more "oh, gee, he yelled at his players and poked them in the chest."

Mangino didn't know when to stop. But he's rich, now.

And KU had ONE great season, then started back downhill to mediocrity.

Kendall Simmons 8 years, 1 month ago

To Hometownboy...

No. Football isn't supposed to be a sport for tough guys. You're thinking of rugby...even if you didn't know it.

HOMETOWNBOY 8 years, 1 month ago

Oh Wah! I have scars on my feet from running 20 miles in combat boots. Poor boy hurt his hand! I didn't tell my drill sergeant he was mean to me. Get tough or quit.

BigPrune 8 years, 1 month ago

I hear Goldie Hawn is in the running.....something about building sensitive young men. It is KU after all, so the rumor might be true.

Kevin Randell 8 years, 1 month ago

Ok..... something just came to mind. There have been a lot of posts on here that are "poor Mangino"...."he built the program up and now what are we going to do".....

Ok, here is the deal. Mangino is going to get MILLIONS in his settlement. If he can not live off of that for at least the next year then there is a problem. (no fat or eating jokes Second, he came when KU was crap and we had poor facilities and basicly had nothing for recruiting. Now we have the facilities and are continuing to build.

So all I ask is the Jayhawk nation pull together wether you like it or not and support the change. Remember.... douglas county Voted for "Change" (ie Obama). ;) Because let me inform all of you who keep bellyaching and griping about this, in on a cold, hard reality that I learned years ago. Unless you are donating millions to the athletic program, they do not care what your opinion is. :) Have a great day everybody! :)

garyr 8 years, 1 month ago

So, what I've heard from my reliable informants is that the position is down to two possibilities. Neither of which were mentioned above. Harbaugh will not come to KU, he has a good thing going in Stanford right now. They love him there, his team is getting better by the game and he likes the West Coast. Sumlin does not have enough of a winning reputation to become the head coach of KU. Obviously, he had a good season this year, but still has alot to prove as a head coach. I have no idea where they got either of these names, maybe just pulled them out of a hat, or brought them up to get everyone off track. The two names I hear on the inside track for the head coaching job are, as I've said, Turner Gill, head coach of Buffalo, and Randy Edsall, the head coach at UConn. Lew has histories with both of these coaches. Which one of these two will it be? All I will say is Gill's daughter goes to KU, so he may want to be close to family. Have a good day!

fiercesomeus 8 years, 1 month ago

what I dont understand is that this punishment was after practice, this is football so that means other players had been down on the turf with no problems, the whiner hurts only one hand, so he wasnt doing the drill right or he would have hurt both. K.U football picks on basketball players and then looses 7 in a row and then cries the coach talks bad to me and pokes me in the chest. You freaking wimps.

hornjo 8 years, 1 month ago

How about Charlie Strong as a candidate for this position. He is wonderful with the players and some believe that he is just as good or better than ole Urban Meyer.

thepianoman 8 years, 1 month ago

I think Mangino needs a corn dog........

mom_of_three 8 years, 1 month ago

Mangino stated in his radio show that he hasn't changed in 8 years - the same person. But all this comes out now....Come on, a little suspicious. What has Lew been covering up to keep his successful record and football team? I would be looking into that.

penguin 8 years, 1 month ago

Charlie Strong is the guy we want. Last time he was in the top of the pool. He was merely the D-Coordinator under Lou Holtz at the time at South Carolina. He has also been the D-Coordinator at Florida since 2002. If you listen to him describe his vision of a would want him. I only hope he is ready to move up and is not content with winning National Championships as a coordinator.

rgh 8 years, 1 month ago

I'm not sure how long he would stay, but Brent Venables at Oklahoma would be a hell of head coach. He had build OU's defense into on the best in the entire NCAA and would bring energy and sure capable of bringing in assistants qualified to run a big time program.

He also like the spread offense and sure knows how to defend the run game and spread game.

Steve Miller 8 years, 1 month ago

But will the new replacement qualif in the butt kissing department ? Thats the key....

KU_cynic 8 years, 1 month ago

Keegan, what are you smoking? Thinking that an "on his way to marquee job" coach like Harbough would take over a cellar-dwelling Big XII program? It just doesn't make sense.

KU has never been a place that good coaches want to go. Other than Glenn Mason -- who compiled a 47-54-1 record (25-37-1 conference record) with only winning record seasons out of nine at KU and then looked to get out after the 1995 season -- who has ever come to KU as a football coach and made what looked like a good career move?

We should be no more able to attract a good coach than other Big XII doormats like Iowa State.

lovenhaight 8 years, 1 month ago

I do think that its a little fishy that all of this stuff came up when we started having a crappy season. Do I think that the kid with the burned hand was treated too harshly? Yes, probably. But he could have stood up and said that he'd be happy to take punishment for shirking his weigh in in a way that wouldn't leave him with 2nd degree burns.

I'm just suspicious about the way things are being run out there by Lew, especially after reading some of Roy's new book. It seems that Lew is only out for himself, and he doesn't care about who he has to make look bad in the process of getting what he wants.

Good luck, Mangino. Thanks for taking away that sting of embarrassment when I said "KU Football" least for a few years.

hesshawk 8 years, 1 month ago

First off, Perkins ought to be investigated for all the crap he's dumped on people since he got the KU. He has single-handedly made the athletic department look like a bunch of cuss-fighting relatives.
Get Uncle Fester out of Lawrence now !!

The new coach can not be Turner Gill - he hasn't shown that much at Buffalo. Can't see Harbaugh coming here Charlie Strong was being mentioned with the Louisville job; is it better than KU? IMHO, Sumlin or Fedora are the best options if Strong can't be had. But, remember Uncle Fester's cronyism with UConn - Edsall may just end up being the guy.

Let's get this over with, find a new coach that can bring all the players together, and get to recruiting before it's too late

Rock Chalk

KU_cynic 8 years, 1 month ago reiterate my prior point by way of an analogy:

Thinking KU can recruit a marquee football coach is like a loser guy who drives a 1996 Pontiac Sunfire dumping his fat nasty-mouthed girlfriend and thinking, "Finally, I'm free to date a supermodel!"

Kendall Simmons 8 years, 1 month ago

Fiercesomeus wrote: "what I dont understand is that this punishment was after practice, this is football so that means other players had been down on the turf with no problems, the whiner hurts only one hand, so he wasnt doing the drill right or he would have hurt both."

The guy wasn't doing a drill. He wasn't doing something other players had been doing all day (players who reported that the turf was so hot that they could feel it through their cleats and socks - turf that can reach 199 degrees) - like holding their hand down on the turf briefly in a 3-point stance.

Rather, as punishment, he was made to crawl on his knees and bare hands the length of the football field with Mangino walking beside him screaming at him even as the turf is literally - not figuratively - burning his hands.

So what is the response by ole fiercesome? The player mustn't be doing the "drill"...never mind that it wasn't a drill...correctly or he'd have burned both hands. Now that's a "manly man" reponse for you.

And then lovenhaight thinks the problem was easily solved by the player simply standing up and saying he'd accept another punishment...with Mangino screaming at him every step and a steady stream of threatening players' scholarships.

Seriously, does loven honestly think Mangino would have simply said "oh, okay. Let's do something different." HEL-LO. The kid was telling Mangino repeatedly that his hand was being burned and showing it to him, and Mangino didn't give two sh-ts. You don't think Mangino...a bully...wouldn't have retaliated if the kid had simply gotten up?

Sorry, but it's really easy to say what other people should have done...and to think that's what you'd have done under the circumstances. But most of us know in our hearts that we're just fooling ourselves. That it's just a show of false bravado.

Ken Miller 8 years, 1 month ago

In Lew I trust.

All of you critics will dry up and blow away after the football HC hire starts winning games - maybe not next year, but the year after. What Perkins has done for the KU Athletic program is nothing short of miraculous. Just ask the people whose opinions matter - and they ain't the armchair ADs that appear to populate this blog string.

One more thing - your mens hoops team is #1 in the nation, and your womens team is ranked for the first time in years. I would say the KU faithful better start hoping that a program like Texas doesn't come steal Lew away, because his track record is one of unparalleled success.

And no, I'm not related to Lew and I'm not on his payroll. I just look at facts.

1983Hawk 8 years, 1 month ago

Venables is an abject disgrace who wouldn't survive the first 15 seconds of the vetting process. Why do you think he is always linked to head coaching jobs but always seems to stay put? Moreover, he shouldn't be allowed to continue to coach in this conference at all, let alone be a head coach in it, until he publicly apologizes for throwing an object at Rex Walters in 1993.

Ralph Reed 8 years, 1 month ago

I second Paul's comment from earlier this morning.

Coach, regardless of what happened, you were given a raw deal being tried in the court of public opinion before the end of the season. Perkins orchestrated this quite well so the end was known a long time ago. That is inexcusable.

Best wishes to you and your family.

Fruity22 8 years, 1 month ago

Tell me more 1983Hawk. Is this true? I'm guessing it happened at a game in that purple clad auditorium full of hate and insecurity known as Bramlage.

1983Hawk 8 years, 1 month ago

Yes, 'twas at Bramlage. Roy was p!ssed. Even K-Suck honk Keitzman saw it and has outed Venables on the radio several times. Apparently Venables spent the next several years bragging about it, too. There are/were a number of other off-the-field issues and concerns surrounding Venables. Ask the grapes.

Fruity22 8 years, 1 month ago

I had heard a rumor or two about extra-ciricular activities involving the ladies but that is the first I heard about throwing objects at a basketball game. I recall David Johanning receiving a nice gash from a thrown coin or something at the barn, I mean bram.

Fruity22 8 years, 1 month ago

By the way Keitzman would have never outed him if he still coached at K-state.

H_Lecter 8 years, 1 month ago

I wouldn't touch Lew Perkins with a 10-foot fork. You couldn't marinade him enough. He needs to be fired before we replace Mangino though. He would only be able to hire a a friend (if he has one) or an unproven commodity. We don't need either one. Perkins has been an overpaid anchor around the neck for KU. We can't give him credit for raising all the capital. Winning games raised that money. Lew didn't hire Mangino or Self. Lew has certainly spent it poorly though. The practice field is a testament to that. Anyone can spend money. He's an embarrassment to the University with his own anger management problems. UConn was glad to see him go, we will be too.

penguin 8 years, 1 month ago

Venables was interviewed last time and is not an impressive candidate. All of the people who are claiming that Esdall is the choice have a fair point. It might seem like Lew would go with what he knows. Ya know, I seem to remember that sentiment the last time their was a coaching opening. Everyone was assured that Al Bohl would hire Pat Hill because hey he hired him at Fresno State.

Well that did not happen. I am actually guessing the reason that the move occurred when it did was because lots of rumors are going around about Louisville's interest in strong. Let the process work out and I am sure we will be happy with the hire.

1983Hawk 8 years, 1 month ago

I would love to see us hire either Harbaugh or Sumlin and then plug in Cromwell as OC and go get Gary Gibbs from the Chiefs for our DC.

MyName 8 years, 1 month ago

I'm sorry, you guys keep bringing up his treatment of his players (which probably ranged from "tough-love" to "psycho-bully", but you need to think about how many assistants he ran off because he was a pain to work with.

No matter how good a coach he is, eventually someone with anger problems like that is going to tank the program because he runs off the good talent or causes some kind of PR headache that you can't get rid of. If he's not going to change, and you're at the point where you can do better, then it's probably good that you get rid of him.

Jimo 8 years, 1 month ago

What is KUAD going to do when a hot-head like Harbaugh gets suspended by the NCAA and fined? No doubt, begin an unofficial but very public independent investigation - not.

It is critical that Perkins be replaced before Mangino.

ACP 8 years, 1 month ago

Lew should be gone. Not Mangino. None of these players grew up being coached by someone like Nanny Duver. If they had, they would be tougher and not whiney prima donna's.

Ricky_Vaughn 8 years, 1 month ago

I'll say this...everyone thought it was a good idea to run Carl Petersen out of town, until they found out what came after.

Duplicating Mangino's successes may not come easily.

jimmyjms 8 years, 1 month ago

Wow! We are fortunate on this thread to witness a living, breathing stereotype as he breathes some fire!

Thanks, hometownboy!

Was it uphill to and from grade school as well?

Ken Miller 8 years, 1 month ago

Wow - if you are the real Greg Sharp, I would think you'd have better insight on this. Lew isn't a great AD because of his womens BB hire - he is a great AD because of the money he has been able to bring to the KUAD. Oh, and do you think Al Bohl would have been able to pull off an Orange Bowl invite after KU lost to Missouri on national TV a couple years back? Missouri beats KU and they ended up going where that year? Do you even remember which bowl it was? All Lew. And who stuck with Bill Self after two first round NCAA losses when some of the geniuses in this town were calling for HIS head? To me, defending Self after the B and B disasters should be credited as much as if Perkins hired the guy. All Lew.

Look at the new facilities for all sports, revenue and non-revenue. All Lew.

Wait a few months - heck, even a few weeks - and this hullabaloo over Mangino will be a fading memory.

Ricky_Vaughn 8 years, 1 month ago

Blogging doesn't seem like something a tough guy would be doing...

I picture: Giving yourself a tattoo... Sharpening knives with your teeth... Using a belt sander to exfoliate...

garyr 8 years, 1 month ago

LarryNative….. Really, Harabaugh was here yesterday?

What do Harbaugh and Mangino have in common?

-Both were in Lawrence yesterday, but won't be next year!


fiercesomeus 8 years, 1 month ago

Acorn you sound like one of the whiners on the team, anytime a coach is right beside you yelling in your ear and you are supposed to be on your hands and knees, crawling that is called a drill, but yes you are right the rest of the team probably did not have to touch the turf with their hands the whole practice, and god forbid if we had to play on that turf during a game, hey thats it that is why KU sucked so much before Mangino got here the damn turf was to hot.

Ken Miller 8 years, 1 month ago

OK Hitme, I'm calling BS on you. How does Lew operate? What has he destroyed? Look at the financials for the KUAD since Lew got here. Look at the facility improvements at Memorial Stadium and around it, Allen Fieldhouse, the Rowing boathouse...

Orange Bowl victory. Mens Hoops championship. He might not have played or coached in those games, but he is maximizing those results in terms of $$$, and the facilities KU has, which will lead to additional success.

Seriously, why so much hate for Lew? Did he take your legacy Allen Fieldhouse season tix away from your grandparents?

BigAl 8 years, 1 month ago

Oscarfactor, I agree 100%.

CWGOKU... Did Mangino act with class when he accosted that young parking attendant? Did Mangino act with class with his terrible antics at the LHS football game?

TheGreatOz 8 years, 1 month ago

Unless Lew is going to hire Mike Shanahan, I don't want to hear it.

Kevin Randell 8 years, 1 month ago

One thing is for certain.... the new coach will only be :half" the man Mangino is. ;)

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The Perkins Legacy by ACP 8 years, 1 month ago

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