Mangino “Resigns”, Future of KU FootballDecember 4th, 2009 by Lee Eldridge
The headlines read “Mangino Resigns”, but I think we all know better. Athletic Director Lew Perkins and coach Mark Mangino have come to an agreeable resolution for the removal of Mangino from the KU football program. Perkins may have had the legal right to fire Mangino “with cause”. But Mangino would have fought the termination. No reason for this to drag on. Mangino likely will receive $2-3 million and will save some of his credibility. And KU gets to move on and find their next head coach.
Members of the media (like Jason Whitlock in the Star this morning) will clamor for KU to tell all. There is no benefit in this for KU or Mangino. It will not help KU land their next coach if they publicly expose all of their dirty laundry. And don’t we already have enough information to come to the same conclusion as Perkins?
1. Mangino was fired because he went 5-7 this season, losing his last seven games.
2. The Jayhawks lost seven straight because of a lack of talent on defense and the offensive line.
3. Mangino has become an embarrassment to the university. As many were, I was troubled by the reports of verbal abuse (in particular the personal nature of the comments), and the reports of physical abuse. Among the worst is this story about Cory Kipp.
4. Mangino had little interest in helping Perkins promote the KU program. At a recent event in Kansas City to promote the Gridiron Club that KU wants to build at Memorial Stadium, Mangino was nowhere to be found.
Mangino has accomplished a lot at KU. He has helped make football relevant in Lawrence again. But my personal feeling is that he’s plateaued. I think he’s taken the program as far as he can. And if we want the program to continue to improve, it’s time for a change.
The Next Head Coach Will Be…
I have no idea. I guarantee you that Perkins has a short list of candidates who have probably already been contacted about their interest. Lots of names have been thrown around. Here are the ones I find most interesting.
Brian Kelly: Currently the head coach at Cincinnati.
Jim Harbaugh: Currently the head coach at Standord.
Kevin Sumlin: Currently the head coach at Houston.
Larry Fedora: Currently the head coach at Southern Mississippi.
Randy Edsall: Currently the head coach at Connecticut.
Skip Holtz: Currently the head coach at East Carolina.
There are lots more. Here’s a nice read from the LJWorld about potential candidates. And there are a few names being thrown around that don’t excite me, specifically Nolan Cromwell and Turner Gill. I loved Cromwell when I was a kid, but I want someone with head coaching experience. And I don’t think Gill is an upgrade over Mangino.
Perkins made a great hire with Bill Self. He knew who he wanted and he went out and got him. Hopefully Perkins will make an equally good hire for the football program. (Bryan pointed out below that it was not Perkins who had hired Self. Great catch Bryan.)