Tag Archives: coach joe paterno

Mangino speaks at Little Rock Touchdown Club (Part 1)

Eric Magino is an excellent speaker and I enjoyed listening to him on November 14, 2011. Here is a story from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette:

 — In 2007, Mark Mangino led Kansas to its best football season in school history.

The Jayhawks went 12-1 and climbed to No. 2 in the BCS rankings before a 37-28 loss to No. 4 Missouri in the regular-season finale. After a 24-21 victory over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl, the Jayhawks finished seventh in the final Associated Press rankings and Mangino was the consensus coach of the year.

Two years later, the Jayhawks finished 5-7. After an internal investigation, Mangino was fired after he was accused of boorish behavior and violent actions, including grabbing his players and verbal abuse.

Mangino, 55, and living in Naples, Fla., spoke Monday at the Little Rock Touchdown Club’s weekly luncheon at the Embassy Suites hotel. When asked about his departure from Kansas, he didn’t elaborate, choosing to focus on the positives in an eight-year run that resulted in a 50-48 record, including 23-41 in Big 12 games and a 3-1 in bowl games.

“I choose to dwell on the positives and all the good things we did,” Mangino said after pausing when asked what happened during his final year at Kansas. “We accomplished a lot of things that gave me a sense of pride.”

However, he did talk a lot about college football’s off-thefield issues.

On Penn State, which fired longtime coach Joe Paterno on Wednesday night after the board of trustees determined he didn’t do enough when told that a graduate assistant saw former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who has been charged with molesting eight boys, assaulting a boy in a school shower:

“It’s so painful to know that children were allegedly molested in the school’s football facility and as a parent, it’s got to knock you out,” Mangino said. “Growing up in Newcastle, Pa., I grew up idolizing Joe Paterno and I still do, but I can’t help but be disappointed.

“I used to tell my players that the outside world can be cruel and I would tell them that the football complex was their safe haven where you had teammates and coaches you could come to. I cannot comprehend the fact that young children were molested in that locker room. That is something I struggle with as a parent and a coach and it pains me to know that it could happen.

“Penn State will have to redefine itself and hopefully, we’ll all learn from this.”

On conference realignment that has seen Missouri and Texas A&M join the SEC, Pittsburgh and Syracuse join the Atlantic Coast Conference and West Virginia and TCU join the Big 12:

“I remember sitting at a staff meeting and I had a feeling we were going to go to superconferences, but I thought the NCAA, atheltic directors and networks would do it in regards to geographic boundaries,” Mangino said.

“The thing I’m disappointed in is that it’s not happening. I know on each coast, nobody cares about Kansas-Missouri, but here, that’s a big deal and now there’s a good chance that won’t happen again. Nebraska-Oklahoma might not play again.”

On the state of the Big 12 — which saw Nebraska leave for the Big Ten, Colorado leave for the Pacific-12 and almost saw Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State leave for the Pac 12 before Commissioner Dan Beebe resigned under pressure last month:

“I feel bad for the Big 12 because it is a great conference and I hope it can hang in there,” Mangino said.

Mangino said he never had the feeling that Texas was trying to run the conference. He also said while at Kansas he stayed away from the business issues that have dominated headlines recently.

“We would be briefed on things after the fact, but the athletic directors were usually involved in those meetings,” Mangino said. “I always concerned myself with what goes on the field and never focused on the business aspect.”

On his future, Mangino said he would like to coach again, but is waiting for the right opportunity.

“I’d like to be a head coach, but I’m willing to be a coordinator or a line coach if somebody needs one,” Mangino said. “I feel I have a few snaps left in me and I want to go to a place where football is important.”

This article was published today at 4:52 a.m.

Sports, Pages 22 on 11/15/2011

Sports 22