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Mangino speaks at Little Rock Touchdown Club (Part 2)

Mangino at a 2007 KU basketball game

Eric Mangino is a very good speaker. Here is a portion of an article by Jim Harris:

11/14/2011 at 3:37pm

It’s easy for fans who don’t follow Kansas football closely to forget just how successful Mark Mangino was in building the Jayhawks’ program before he was controversially shown the door nearly two years ago.

When Arkansas upset top-ranked LSU in Baton Rouge 50-48 in three overtimes in the 2007 regular-season finale, Kansas was sitting one slot behind the Tigers at No. 2 and playing Missouri that same weekend. Mangino’s Jayhawks lost their only game of the season to Missouri 36-28, but earned a BSC bowl spot anyway and defeated Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl to start 2008.

Mangino and the KU administration were in a dispute over his contract, and the coach was alleged to have struck a player. That gave the Jayhawk athletic brass at the time an excuse to unload Mangino and his big contract.

After nearly two full seasons on the sidelines, Mangino said Monday during a visit with the Little Rock Touchdown Club that he’s ready to return to coaching.

“My wife says I need a team,” he said after the luncheon at the Embassy Suites. “She’s had me around for a year and a half now and she says I really need a team to be around.”

Mangino said he’s had some overtures already, but he’s looking for the “right job” where the fanbase is fully behind the football program. Even at KU, football played second fiddle to the tradition rich basketball program, but that didn’t stop Mangino from guiding the Jayhawks to five bowls in eight years.

There were at least a couple of references during the Touchdown Club luncheon about the opening at Ole Miss. The Rebels could do a lot worse that Mangino, who took over at Kansas when the program was in the dumps. Last we checked, the Jayhawks weren’t doing too good without Mangino now, either. (Turner Gill was chosen to replace Mangino).

Mangino’s previous appearance in Little Rock before Monday was in early 2001, after Oklahoma had won the national championship, to accept the Broyles Award as the top assistant coach in the nation. He joined Bob Stoops at OU as offensive line coach in 1999, and became offensive coordinator the very next season when Mike Leach left Norman to become Texas Tech’s head coach.

That would be quite a pair together — Mangino and Leach. And Mangino had the large crowd Monday laughing about the year they were together on the OU staff, and Leach always seemed to end up watching Mangino’s TV, keeping the big man awake, during recruiting season well into the early morning. Hard to believe both are looking for jobs. And, just in case you didn’t notice, Texas Tech lost to Oklahoma State 66-6 on Saturday, the Red Raiders fourth straight shellacking after shocking Stoops and OU in Norman 41-38.

Mangino and a friend drove from Naples, Fla., to Fayetteville for Saturday’s Hog win over Tennessee and returned to Little Rock on Sunday, where some of the Touchdown Club board took them to dinner. Mangino was a guest in the USA Drug skybox on Saturday night. He said, “I’d never watched a college football game from a skybox like that.”

He was high on the Razorbacks after seeing them in first for the first time Saturday, as the Hogs walloped Tennessee 49-7. “They’ve got such great speed, both the offensive and defensive lines are physical and quick, and they are well coached.”