The grass isn't always greener
Published: Thursday, 13 October 2011 14:29
In 1999 Mark Mangino was the offensive line coach at Oklahoma. In 2000, Bob Stoops promoted Mangino to offensive coordinator, a position he would hold for two seasons before being named head coach at Kansas before the 2002 season.
In the four seasons leading up to his hiring, Kansas had averaged 4 wins per year. Going back further, in the 70s the Jayhawks averaged just over 4 wins per year, in the 80s, just over 4 wins per year, in the 90s they raised the average to nearly 6 wins thanks in large part to some good seasons early in the decade. So, over 30 years or so, this was a program that averaged 4 or 5 wins per season.
Mangino took over in 2002 and it took him a while to rebuild the program. As a matter of fact, in his first 3 seasons they averaged 4 wins. But then they started clicking...From 2005-2008 they averaged over 8 wins per season and had that great run in 2007 where they wound up 12-1 and won the Orange Bowl.
In 2009 they started 5-0; but then things fell apart. Lots of things happened. Once the season ended, the administration decided to make a change and Mangino was no longer with the program. The Jayhawks have struggled since and it won't get any easier this weekend...
Stoops, who remains close with Mangino, is bringing his squad to Lawrence this weekend. Earlier this week, Stoops had this to say, "In general, I think some people believe the grass is always greener somewhere else. You find out it's not always that way."
Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman wrote a very good article about Stoops comments (and there's a lot more that what we wrote above).
Tramel notes that Stoops said that while he was the defensive coordinator at Florida, he was offered some head coaching jobs that he felt were dead-end jobs. "I'm not that good a coach...some places there's reasons they have the history they do."
Stoops wound up picking the right job and he's done fairly well at Oklahoma. He went 7-5 in his first season; but since then...his teams have won 10 games in 9 of 11 seasons (they won 8 in the other two seasons) 12 bowl appearances with 6 bowl victories and 1 National Championship.