Charles Davis: ‘Mangino Will Have Another Shot Somewhere’
After spending a year as an assistant at Youngstown State, Mark Mangino is back in the Big 12, where he’ll be the offensive coordinator for Iowa State this season.
Mangino was a huge star – literally and figuratively – at Kansas in the mid-2000s. In 2007, he led the Jayhawks to a 12-1 record, won the Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech and was named National Coach of the Year by virtually every national media outlet you’ve ever heard of.
Mangino hasn’t been a head coach since 2009, when Kansas went 5-7, but Charles Davis believes the hefty 57-year-old will get another chance soon enough.
“I know coach pretty well, and I actually do see him having that opportunity,” the NFL Network, NFL.com and FOX Sports analyst said on The John Feinstein Show. “When people look at his record and what he did to build Kansas up to being an Orange Bowl team and Orange Bowl winner – and then to see what happened with Kansas football since he’s been gone – that only burnishes his legend.”
Mangino is the only Kansas head coach in the last 61 years to leave the program with a winning record. And there have been some good coaches at Kansas, including Glen Mason and Turner Gill.
“Think about who they had,” Davis said. “I don’t think all these coaches (are) coming through there and (suddenly being) bad coaches. There’s a lot of infrastructure at Kansas that I know they’re still working on and still trying to get corrected – and Coach Mangino did a lot to get them to that echelon, but it’s hard to maintain at a place like that. It’s just very, very difficult to do.”
Mangino’s biggest issue at Kansas, Davis said, may have been his lack of political savvy.
“When they were starting to win, I don’t think Coach Mangino was very much of a give-and-take kind of guy,” Davis said. “(His attitude was), ‘This is what I want, this is what I have to have, this is what my program needs and we’re going to have it.’ And he would fight. To him, it was showing his team (he’d) fight for (them). He didn’t play politics well enough with certain people. Then this temper came into play. When you’re not winning 11, (it becomes an issue).”
Now, however, Mangino has a second chance and will try to improve an offense that ranked 91st in scoring last season.
Davis sees many similarities between Mangino and Ralph Friedgen, who has been named the offensive coordinator at Rutgers after a successful head-coaching stint at Maryland from 2001-10. One of those similarities, yes, is their size. Mangino’s nickname is “The Bear,” while Friedgen’s nickname is “The Fridge.”
“These two guys (are) sharp offensive minds who came up through the ranks, (and it) took probably longer than it should have for them to be head coaches . . . due in large part to their appearance,” Davis said. “That’s why people didn’t hire these guys. Now, the hard part for Coach Friedgen is he’s 67. That’s going to play against him.”
“But I think Mangino will have another opportunity. I think someone else will take an opportunity, look at (his total body of work) and understand that he’s probably changed a little bit over the last few years. I think he’ll get another shot somewhere. I don’t know if it’ll be a Power-5 place right off the top, but I think that he would get a shot if he wanted (it) in the other conferences and definitely in I-AA.”