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If this is the end, how will Mangino be remembered?


Saturday's conclusion to the Border War was a microcosm of the Kansas University football season in 2009.

Promising in the beginning. Horrifying in the end.

Kansas dropped its seventh straight game, 41-39, on Saturday against Missouri at Arrowhead Stadium. The Jayhawks, who began the season 5-0, finished the season a catastrophic 5-7.

No Big 12 North title. Hell, no bowl game. And more than likely, no coach, before too long.

If Saturday was Mark Mangino's last game coaching on the KU sidelines, here's guessing the 2009 Border War gets mentioned in casual Lawrence community sports conversation before the 2008 Orange Bowl.

Richard Gwin/Journal-World Photo

Mangino's image could have been partially saved had Kansas defeated Missouri. I'm not saying his job could have been saved. But let's be real: Beating Missouri would have gone a long way into winning over some KU fans that were on the fence about their embattled coach. That's just how the bitter rivalry goes.

Instead, I notice a KU fan base that's so fed up with Mangino's clock management that it just wants the coach gone already.

In a sense, I can't blame the livid KU fan. The Jayhawks had no reason to lose to Missouri, based on how the first three quarters played out. Had Kansas taken better care of the ball with 2:59 left, protecting a three-point lead, the outcome would have been different. I'm no offensive mastermind, but two consecutive passes — both of which fell incomplete — doesn't do a whole lot to drain the clock on a Missouri team that only had one timeout left.

Furthermore, a designed quarterback draw on third down that had Todd Reesing drop back as far as he did, as to flirt with a large portion of the end zone, was dangerous. The result: a Mizzou safety and a silver-platter formula to beat Kansas in the closing seconds with a field goal.

Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo

The Border War loss, coupled with the KU athletic department's investigation into Mangino's treatment of players, will be how the coach is remembered on a basic level. Whether that's right or not, I'm not entirely sure. But it's reality.

The 12-1 Orange Bowl season won't be remembered at the forefront of people's minds when they reflect on the Mangino era. Neither will the numerous football facility upgrades during his tenure. The first back-to-back bowl games in KU history. Mangino's coach of the year award. His unique ability to take two- and three-star recruits and turn them into above-average gems on the football field. Some even made the NFL.

In the dreaded depths of a seven-game losing streak, the negative will always outweigh the positive.

With a 50-48 record in eight seasons, Mangino missed being the winningest coach in KU history by two games. A.R. Kennedy holds that record with 52 victories from 1904-1910.

So, is Mangino the best coach in KU history?

As always, discuss.

KU's coaching timeline

  • E.M. Hopkins (1891): 7-0-1, .938
  • A.W. Shepard (1892-1893): 9-6, .600
  • Hector Cowan (1894-1896): 15-7-1, .674
  • Wylle G. Woodruff (1897-1898): 15-3, .833
  • Fielding H. Yost (1899): 10-0, 1.000
  • Charles Boynton (1900): 2-5-2, .333
  • John Outland (1901): 3-5-2, .400
  • Arthur Curtis (1902): 6-4, .600
  • Harrison S. Weeks (1903): 6-3, .667
  • A.R. Kennedy (1904-1910): 52-9-4, .831
  • Ralph W. Sherwin (1911): 4-2-2, .625
  • Arthur Mosse (1912-1913): 9-7, .563
  • H.M. Wheaton (1914): 5-2-1, .688
  • Herman Olcott (1915-1917): 16-7-1, .688
  • Jay Bond (1918): 2-2, .500
  • Leon McCarty (1919): 3-2-3, .563
  • Forrest G. Allen (1920): 5-2-1, .688
  • Potsy Clark (1921-1925): 16-17-6, .487
  • Franklin Cappon (1926-1927): 5-10-1, .344
  • Bill Hargiss (1928-1932): 22-18-2, .538
  • Ad Lindsey (1933-1938): 23-30-8, .443
  • Gwinn Henry (1939-1942): 9-27, .252
  • Henry Shenk (1943-1945): 11-16-3, .417
  • George Sauer (1946-1947): 15-3-3, .786
  • J.V. Sikes (1948-1953): 35-25, .583
  • Chuck Mather (1954-1957): 11-26-3, .313
  • Jack Mitchell (1958-1966): 44-42-5, .511
  • Pepper Rodgers (1967-1970): 20-22, .476
  • Don Fambrough (1971-1974): 19-25-1, .433
  • Bud Moore (1975-1978): 17-27-1, .389
  • Don Fambrough (1979-1982): 17-24-4, .422
  • Mike Gottfried (1983-1985): 15-18-1, .456
  • Bob Valesente (1986-1987): 4-17-1, .205
  • Glen Mason (1988-1996): 47-54-1, .466
  • Terry Allen (1997-2001): 20-33, .379
  • Mark Mangino (2002-present): 50-48, .510


hujiko 8 years, 6 months ago

I will remember Mangino for his successes, not the flukes that ended this season.

rdave 8 years, 6 months ago

Reviewing the past records, bring Yost back...he must be the same age as Snyder.

infidel 8 years, 6 months ago

The average of all coaches is a little more than 3 years at KU, so I guess Mangino had a good run.

nbnozzy 8 years, 6 months ago

We had a coach named "Potsy"? I see there was also a "Ralph" and "Arthur (Fonzi?)".Oh, Happy Days.....

sassy78 8 years, 6 months ago

I will remember Mangino for all he has done for the University of Kansas and the football program. I hope for the best in his future days ahead of him. He is a great coach!! Let's not forget how much he's done. He brought out the best in Reesing, and opened a world of opportunities for Meyer. This is the coach that we have all supported until the season started to turn sour!! hmmm.

diplomacy205 8 years, 6 months ago

I'll remember that he is the only coach since 1966 to have a winning record. He is the best KU football coach in my lifetime. I'll miss the phat man.

babygirlgrz420 8 years, 6 months ago

i will remember him for his fat FACE!! So long hamgino, so long...........thanks for the games we won but in the meantime go eat a gigantic sub, yeah!!! LOL LOL LOL

Write2Know 8 years, 6 months ago

The best coach is always the next coach!

Jack Bell 8 years, 6 months ago

Mangino took an absolute terrible football program and completely turned it around...I almost feel like with the recent turmoil that we as fans have betrayed him, yes he can be a little rough sometimes but that's football, plain and simple, 30 years ago this would be considered a joke...Remember this is the same coach that led KU to a 12-1 season, not to mention an Orange Bowl, we all loved him then and personally that is what I will remember him for...I think it's too bad it turned out like this and I hope the best for Mangino

walleyefishn 8 years, 6 months ago

20 wins in 2 years made coach mangino the best at ku. 7 game losing streak makes people think he needs to go and some players that don't like old school coaching. If he leaves somebody has some big shoes to fill !!. mangino is the best.

davidsmom 8 years, 6 months ago

The Orange Bowl season - I want to watch my Orange Bowl DVD again. Taking a chance on a pint-sized quarterback named Reesing who believed in himself, and the amazing stats that he put up in his career at KU. The incredibly positive, selfless attitude of Kerry Meier. Mangino's ability to recognize an untapped talent at receiver and the amazing position transition that resulted. Those are the things I will remember about the Mangino era.

senior_citizen 8 years, 6 months ago

J.V. Sikes was the best KU football coach in my lifetime. The football team he put together at the beginning of the 1950's was a solid one, and J.V. was both professional and non-confrontational in character.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 6 months ago

He should be remembered for turning around an absolutely dreadful KU football program.

Recall the days of Terry Allen. Terrible football and 1500 fans in the stands at most.

Mangino is completely responsible for this turnaround. The excitement surrounding KU football, the winning, and the Orange Bowl victory.

He is a terrific coach and will make a great offensive coordinator at Oklahoma or Nebraska.

RKLOG 8 years, 6 months ago

I remember how Bugs Bunny used to really get his goat! And how he used to wear that little vest and say 'B-nit B-nit B-nit, that's all Folks!' Good times.

bigbird11 8 years, 6 months ago

While I agree we fluff our schedule, this year's "fluff" teams were decent.

Yogi 8 years, 6 months ago

Coach Mangino is in my opinion the best coach KU has had. It makes me sick to see him treated this way. But worse, it peels back the skin of the University and fans I love and exposes them for what they really are. This is the kind of behavior I'd expect from KSU or Mizzou. I'm terribly disappointed in KU.

deskboy04 8 years, 6 months ago

I love Mangino. They should keep him.

Mandie Eutsler 8 years, 6 months ago

Mangino screwed up when he was feeling sentimental with about three mins. left in the game. First off, there was no Opurum, and he wanted to give a few seniors the chance to do something great. They failed. We all know what he should have done, but his qb threw for 500 yds, 4 tds, and was hot at the time. He was thinking they would come through and they didn't. oops! good luck coach, sorry about the smear campaign, and thanks so much seniors!!!

Rusty Thomas 8 years, 6 months ago

Coach Mangino and the players deserve respect. Boo on the "bloggers" who name-call and defame because they have nothing of substance to say. From a long-time fan who has seen many coaches and players come and go; Thanks for the memories, good and not so much. I plan to remember the former rather than the latter. I hope Mangino stays. This is his program, not Lew's.

drillsgt 8 years, 6 months ago

i think clint bowen needs to get the boot.......

jj14 8 years, 6 months ago

The main reason his record looks so good is thanks to the lame teams he always scheduled us to play before big12 games start....

I will remember the 2007 loss to Missouri - UGH. Now THAT was painful. Yesterday's game was nothing compared to the heartache of 2007.

jj14 8 years, 6 months ago

I don't think the other schools will touch him with a 10 foot pole...not if they give a rats a$$ about recruiting...

1957 8 years, 6 months ago

All you who are extolling his record must remember it was mostly do to soft scheduling not great football.

kansasplains 8 years, 6 months ago

The ridiculous amount of money KU spends on sports, when there are so many other programs that are much more worthwhile.. is crazy. He's done the best he can do in a very difficult situation. He turned the football program completely around. But now isn't it time to reduce the funds to football so that other parts of the university could have their time in the sun, too?

leedavid 8 years, 6 months ago

The ridiculous amount of money KU spends on sports is a direct reflection of the ridiculous amount of money sports brings to KU. English department doesn't generate a lot of money. Coach was good for KU. He was a victim of a very poor offensive and defensive coordinator. The buck stops with him. I understand them. I should point out when he calls plays the offense was great. We were four games into the season when we realized our defense was too complicated for the players. Seems like that is what the preseason drills are for. Very odd coaching this past year.

jlw53 8 years, 6 months ago

Best in KU history? Hard to compare different eras, and very few have seen enough first hand to make a real assessment, but he did make many inprovements. Went to the game yesterday and fully enjoyed the exciting play. In a tough rivalry you hate to lose, but this one has been so even and competitive that sometimes you will.

What I will remember is that we were so improved and the depth of our talent was so much better than at least since the 1969 OB that they were so fun to watch. And the vast majority of the players during his time had exceptional deportment and more than any previous period were more successful academically, so those facts will be remembered along with the great effort and play on the field.

Hopefully he will be accorded the opportunity to continue, but I am afraid that the hotheaded egotistical Perkins has long-since made his decision and is just gathering "justification" evidence. Unless there is overwhelming evidence that none of us know about, he should stay.

He did increase our visiblity and credibility nationally and should be recognized for that also.

Best wishes to him and his family regardless of the "outcome".

defensewins 8 years, 6 months ago

He will be remembered as the coach who did an outstanding job fixing a pathetic excuse for a football program but didn't fit someone's image of what KU needed for a coach.

In other words, he will probably be fired because he is too fat for the elitist fool of an athletic director who will be remembered as the guy who ruined an up and coming football program.

Have fun sucking at football for the next 10 years. BTW, bad ADs eventually trash all of the programs they are responsible for.

Markstaff 8 years, 6 months ago

I'll remember Mangino as the guy that brought KU football back. Lew is the snake. His timing was evil and an insult to KU. Mostly, I will remember these seniors. Thank you guys.

leedavid 8 years, 6 months ago

Defensewins, His weight and looks may be a factor. Everytime I saw him I felt like shouting out to the wife, "Pizza's here." However, we have all seen Lew Perkins and no one is going to say he is any kind of poster boy for an athletic program. He looks like the TV actor Abe Vigoda. Google him I am sure you will agree. Lew's appearance does not command respect as anyone of knowledge that is for sure. I would love to see Lew gone to be frank.

beagledog 8 years, 6 months ago

I will remember him as a fat, selfish person who does not care about people outside of football. I will remember the orange bowl victory two years ago and what a great team KU was. I will also remember him for his lousy play calling in yesterday's game, and all the allegations of abuse wherever they took place.

jvinland 8 years, 6 months ago

I respect Coach Mangino. He has given Kansas University eight years of his life. Coach Mangino's life is football. It defines him. He is loyal and totally dedicated to the Kansas University Football Program and its team members. He expects the KU players and the assistant coaches follow his lead. Everyone on the team is expected to to be dedicated, follow the team rules, to be loyal to the team and and its members. For those individuals put themselves ahead of the team or that will not follow the rules there are known consequences. It is sad that some players, some Kansas Football fans and the Kansas Athletic Director do not have these same traits.

jimmyjms 8 years, 6 months ago

He called a damn QB sneak in his own endzone with a 3 point lead...what more do you need to know?

Kathy Gates 8 years, 6 months ago

What I don't get about the investigation is that Lou Perkins certainly knew Mangino's methods when his contract was extended in 2008. the only dfifference between then and now, absent some smoking gun that hasn't leaked out yet, is a seven loss season. This is about winning and loosing and not "for cause"

BigAl 8 years, 6 months ago

Mangino has had one winning Big12 record in his 8 years. One. And that was a year he didn't play the big boys. He has never won the North much less the conference. He is now on a 7 game losing skid against some teams that he should have beaten. No, I do not consider him a great coach. I think KU fans should expect more than something less than mediocre.

Plenty of money is being spent on coaches and facilities at KU and it is time to expect more than being a bottom feeder in the very weak Big12 North. It is time for Mangino to go.

His personal attack on the young person that gave him a parking ticket and his actions at the LHS football game told me all I needed to know about the man.

Bob Hiller 8 years, 6 months ago

A possible solution to what to do next: Behind the scenes, ask Bill Self what should be done. Self is a class act and a good judge of people and their character. If Coach Self candidly says to keep Mangino, then that should be done

Hitman779 8 years, 6 months ago

Mangino was a good recruiter and had one good season that was a fluke...the only two teams they played were Mizzou and VT, one they won, the other they lost, other than that they played the bottom of the Big 12.

KU football is basically a two year tradition, 07 and then 08 with excitment in 09, but come '10? Unless they get a good coach in, I just see it going down hill.

And they have played cupcakes, and this year's batch only had 2 decent teams, and Southern Miss got beat bad by UAB...which those of you new to college football, isn't saying too much. But you bad mouth KSU and Mizzou, they at least schedule decent teams at times. KSU, to my knowledge, is the only team to go undefeated against Pete Carroll and USC playing in 2 games. Mizzou played decent Illinois teams. KSU got screwed in their schedule this year by Prince last year, but still played UCLA, which is about on par with KU.

rdave 8 years, 6 months ago

Poll Should Kansas pursue opportunities to privatize or outsource AD's and Coaches?

Hitman779 8 years, 6 months ago

Lol, I didn't notice the last comment about Self...why would anyone ask Bill Self what to do with a football program? Or is Basketball actually absorbing the football program? lol Yeah, as a coach, he might have advice on attitude, techniques, etc., but overall it's not even his business. I mean why not ask the track and field coach what to do with a baseball coaching problem? Makes no sense.

And yes, Mangino did a decent job, but it's not like he's completely turned around a football program. He's created excitment, one winning season, that's hardly a turn-around.

jayhawklawrence 8 years, 6 months ago

I watched my first KU game in 1975 at the stadium. We played Nebraska and there was so much red in the stadium I was blinded by it. We lost by about 100 points (seemed like).

Since then, I seldom went to a game. Finally, in the last 10 years I went to 3 games and left at half time because I was so upset. I felt like running out on the field and tackling somebody by myself. We were pathetic. Then Mangino showed up.

Of the games I went to after those 3 horrible experiences, I never wanted to leave because our guys were finally playing with their hearts. If we lost by 30, I could still be proud of KU football.

That is what Mangino did for me. I guess I am from that school that says you never, ever quit until the last second of the game.

Yeah, I hated the last series of plays on Saturday. They sucked. But looking at the body of work he gave us, my thumb is pointing way way up.

Let's get off his back and start getting ready for next year. We are better off than we think. This guy is a keeper and he certainly changed my opinion of KU football.

oldvet 8 years, 6 months ago

yourworst... nice thoughts about Mangino's future, but the real irony is that Bill Snyder will pick him up for the KSU staff, in a couple of years he will have helped put KSU back on top of the north, and he will be their next head coach. And then he will come to Lawrence and pound KU into the turf in front of the JA Perkins.

Joseph Kuebel 8 years, 6 months ago

I cannot even believe this one:

rrh (Anonymous) says…

A possible solution to what to do next: Behind the scenes, ask Bill Self what should be done. Self is a class act and a good judge of people and their character. If Coach Self candidly says to keep Mangino, then that should be done

Seriously? In lieu of me being a shock jockey- and mobbing on people for not thinking or being rational before typing...this one is really is that baseless of a comment...I can't even respond.


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