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(All information as of July 1, 2006)
COACH AND PROGRAM
Mark Mangino, whose work as an assistant at Kansas State and Oklahoma made him a commodity, put a lot of thought into his decision when it came time to take over his own program.
When Kansas came calling in 2002, Mangino made all his calculations, thought about the opportunity and suddenly had his work cut out for him. Kansas had been one of the bottom feeders in the Big 12, and few league observers thought the program had a chance to turn things around on a consistent basis.
Right away, that meant Mangino would not have some of the pressures some coaches who take over historically stronger teams have to contend with. Basically, he was getting a clean canvas to paint, and from his point of view, the pallet was loaded with beautiful colors.
As Mangino enters his fifth season, any evaluations of the job he, his staff and players have done would have to be overwhelmingly positive. In 2005, the Jayhawks went to their second bowl game in the last three years. Kansas is starting to build a reputation for having one of the better offenses in the Big 12.
Mangino's bosses couldn't be happier with the progress.
"It's obvious the program has a lot of support and a lot of momentum right now," athletic director Lew Perkins said. "We're really excited about the future."
Mangino's philosophy is not that complicated. Go out and get the best players you can, then put them in a position to take advantage of their talent and allow them to succeed.
When it comes to recruiting -- the backbone of Mangino's coaching resume -- Mangino's philosophy centers on the character of the players he signs.