The second Saturday in November just got a lot more interesting for Kansas University football, as former KU coach Mark Mangino on Monday was announced as the new offensive coordinator at Iowa State.
Mangino, who spent eight seasons in charge of the KU program from 2002-09, will make his first football return to Lawrence that weekend, when the Cyclones play at Kansas during the ninth week of the 2014 season.
Mangino’s return to the Big 12 was announced via press release from ISU.
“I am beyond thrilled to welcome Coach Mangino to the Cyclone football family,” Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads said. “He has an imaginative offensive mind, an ability to play to his players’ strengths, a track record of winning and a tremendous familiarity with the Big 12 Conference. In terms of calling plays and executing a game plan, he is top shelf. He has learned from a ‘Who’s Who’ of college coaches, effectively led his own championship program and is respected throughout the coaching ranks.”
Mangino spent the 2013 season as the recruiting coordinator and tight-ends coach at Youngstown State, his alma mater, after sitting out of coaching for three seasons following his departure from KU. In late 2009, Mangino was the subject of an investigation led by former KU athletic director Lew Perkins for improper treatment of his players, and the findings of the investigation led to his forced resignation.
Prior to his tumultuous final season, Mangino had many happy days in Lawrence. He led KU back to national relevance and some of the best football years in school history. His Jayhawk teams were 50-48 overall, played in four bowls and won three. He is the only coach in KU history to win bowl games in consecutive seasons (2007 and 2008), and Kansas was ranked a school-record 19 consecutive weeks between 2007-08. Under Mangino, KU also set home attendance records five years in a row and produced the top three total-offense marks in school history.
During the 2007 season, Mangino led the Jayhawks to a 12-1 record and an Orange Bowl championship while being named the consensus national coach of the year.
Before coaching at KU, Mangino worked on Bob Stoops’ staff at Oklahoma and also on the staff of Bill Snyder at Kansas State.
Mangino returns to major Div. I coaching a new man, having shed more than 100 pounds since his days on the KU sideline and successfully helped his wife, Mary Jane, through a battle with breast cancer.
Last summer, he told the Journal-World’s Tom Keegan that he had nothing but respect and admiration for KU and thought fondly of his eight seasons in Lawrence.
“I hold the University of Kansas in high esteem,” Mangino said. “I mean, I had a great time there. I had eight great years there. I had a chance to coach great kids; my wife and I still have great friends all over the state of Kansas that we keep in touch with and come out and visit. I don’t have any reason to hold a grudge or anything.”
During that same conversation, the now 57-year-old coach talked openly about his desire to return to coaching at the major-college level.
“I’m prepared, and I’m ready for it,” he said. “I’ve got the energy, the enthusiasm, the passion for it. If the right situation came about that I thought it was a good decision to make for myself, my family, my future, and it’s a place I want to be with good people who care about football, I’d do it again.”