Friday, December 4, 2009

Charlie Weis isn't the only fat coach out of a job

About 23 months ago, Kansas was playing in the Orange Bowl. Two months ago, Kansas was 5-0 and ranked 17th in the country. Today, Mark Mangino is out of a job.

His "resignation" -- I think it's safe to say he was forced out -- didn't have anything to do with performance, obviously. Kansas has NEVER been as relevant as it's been the past four years.
It all came down to whether anyone would want to play for Mangino after the accusations that came out this week regarding his treatment of players (no, he didn't try to eat them).

Yelling and using a lot of profanity is one thing -- it's football, not sewing -- but when you're purposefully digging up some extremely inappropriate personal material to insult your own players, that's crossing the line. There's absolutely no excuse or logical reason to ever say things like this ...
Former Kansas wide receiver Raymond Brown said that once, his younger brother had been shot in the arm in St. Louis. Then came a game. "I dropped a pass and [Mangino] was mad," Brown said. "And I said, 'Yes, sir. Yes, sir.' The yelling didn't bother me. But then he said, 'Shut up!' He said, 'If you don't shut up, I'm going to send you back to St. Louis so you can get shot with your homies.'"
or this ...

Brown said another teammate had confided in the team that his father was an alcoholic and the player dreamed of becoming a lawyer. "One day, [Mangino] said in front of the entire team, 'Are you going to be a lawyer or do you want to become an alcoholic like your dad?' " Brown said.

... unless you're just a complete asshole, and maybe that's what Mangino was.

If that's the case, it's unfortunate for Kansas. He might be ridiculously large and he might be an asshole, but man, Mark Mangino knows how to coach football. In the 20 years before his arrival, Kansas had gone 86-122-3, with none of the four coaches in that span leaving with a winning record. The Jayhawks had played in two bowl games in that time (the prestigious Aloha Bowl each time) and had won a total of three in their history. In Mangino's seven years, Kansas went 50-48 and played in four bowl games and won three, including a victory over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl after an 11-1 regular season in 2007. Mangino was named national coach of the year after that win, and until this year, Kansas hadn't seen a losing season since 2004. That might not seem like much, but keep in mind that KU hadn't been on the positive side of .500 since 1995 when Mangino arrived.

Nobody would call Kansas a national power, but the fact that they've become relevant in the Big 12 is enough evidence of Mangino's effect. And when you factor in the facilities upgrades -- which were greatly aided by actually winning some games -- there's no question that Kansas is a far, far better job now than it was in 2002.

Athletic director Lew Perkins hasn't yet identified any potential candidates, but if he can find someone who's as good of a coach as Mangino, the search will have been a success. Hopefully that guy won't turn out to be such a dick that he has to be fired regardless.


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