While not always as visible in doing charitable work as coaches like Roy Williams or Bill Self, Mark Mangino and his wife, Mary Jane, have left their mark in different ways.
The Manginos were regular contributors to the United Way, said Colleen Gregoire, vice president of the United Way of Douglas County.
“Mangino could be the most generous giver of anybody in the athletic department, and you would never know because that’s how some people choose to fund their groups,” and charities respect that, Gregoire said.
Loring Henderson, executive director of the Lawrence Community Shelter, said Mangino and his wife are “exemplary” chairs of a dinner and dancing fundraiser in 2008, on the heels of the coach’s Orange Bowl victory.
Mary Jane helped with the planning and committee meetings of the event, and he delivered a very well-received speech on homelessness, Henderson said.
“You could just tell that he had done some research,” Henderson said. “He spoke — for 10 or 15 minutes without notes — eloquently and solemnly about homelessness.”
They also personally donated to the shelter, and Henderson said Mangino designated the shelter as the recipient of a portion of the proceeds from signed footballs.
The Manginos have also been active in raising money for KU Libraries — making a $10,000 pledge in 2008.
The Rev. Leo Barbee, of Victory Bible Church, recalled a 2004 speech where Mangino delivered another keynote speech at a banquet honoring Martin Luther King.
“We were impressed,” Barbee said. “It was well-received and a really good message.”