Former Kansas University graduate assistant Tommy Mangino, the son of former KU coach Mark Mangino, has accepted a position as an assistant coach at Hutchinson Community College.
Mangino, who played two seasons of football at Lawrence High before eventually spending two years on his father’s staff at KU, joins the Blue Dragons as the team’s quarterbacks and wide receivers coach.
Hutch sports information director Steve Carpenter said Thursday that Mangino’s hiring was official pending board approval.
Gridiron Club on hold
The high-profile Gridiron Club, a lavish 3,000-seat, $34 million expansion project on the east side of KU’s Memorial Stadium, has been put on hold. At least that’s the message sent by the removal of a giant banner touting the project that hung on the exterior of the stadium.
The banner said the club was to be “Coming Fall 2010.” KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said Thursday the banner was taken down because the university was not ready to proceed with the project.
“We took it down because it won’t be ready by the Fall of 2010, which is not news to anybody,” Marchiony said. “But we are still fundraising for it, we still plan to do it, and we are actively looking for ways to creatively fund it. It is still very much on the front burner.”
KU adds 2 from Class of 2011
KU coach Turner Gill’s second recruiting class continued to grow this week, while the rest of the world tracked conference realignment.
On Saturday, offensive lineman Travis Bodenstein, of Shiloh High in Springdale, Ark., was in Lawrence to make an in-person commitment to Gill. Bodenstein told Rivals.com that he didn’t want to commit over the phone so he and his brother hopped in the car and delivered the news.
Bodenstein, 6-foot-5, 295 pounds, chose KU over Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Auburn, Oklahoma State and Kansas State. He told Rivals that the friendly coaching staff and first-class facilities won him over.
Three days later, Gill received another commitment, this one from Alex Matlock, a 6-2, 190-pound safety from Pflugerville, Texas. Matlock made his decision with his family on the drive home from his visit. He delivered the news the next day via telephone.
Again, the facilities at Kansas helped sway Matlock, who chose KU over Tulsa and Wyoming. He also had interest from Rice, Baylor, TCU and SMU.
Thornton survives again
Former Kansas University defensive back Justin Thornton has survived yet another round of cuts by the Pittsburgh Steelers and will next report to the team’s training camp July 30.
Thornton, who went undrafted but was picked up via free agency by the Steelers in April, made it through both the rookie minicamp and the team’s summer OTAs. The next step will be for Thornton to survive the team’s next round of cuts, which will trim a list of around 80 players down to 65. From there, he’ll shoot for a spot on the team’s 53-man opening-day roster or be shipped to the practice squad or out of town.
Thornton, 6-1, 210 pounds, was a four-year starter for the Jayhawks and finished fourth on the team in tackles (80) in 2009.