It's official: Mangino out as Jayhawks coach

11 Comments

In an update to this ongoing story, the Mark Mangino era is indeed officially over at Kansas, the school announced in a statement.

Mangino’s departure as the Jayhawks’ head coach is officially being labeled as a resignation and came at the tail end of an internal investigation into his alleged treatment of football players.  The Wichita Eagle reported earlier tonight that the school and Mangino had reached an agreement on a settlement.

According to the school’s statement, that internal review has been completed, but the details of that probe will not be released — likely as part of the agreement reached by Mangino and the university.

“We appreciate the eight years that Mark has given to rebuilding our football program,” Kansas Athletics Director Lew Perkins said in a statement. “He and I have reached a mutually satisfactory agreement that reflects the appreciation we have for his efforts on behalf of Kansas Football.

“As you know we have recently completed an internal review of the football program. I have been instructed by legal counsel that we cannot release any documents related to this investigation, nor any details regarding our settlement agreement. The investigation and settlement agreement will remain part of Mark’s personnel records.”

Mangino compiled a 50-48 record during his eight years at Kansas, including the first back-to-back bowl wins in school history the past two seasons.  He was also named the 2007 coach of the year by multiple organizations and outlets following his Jayhawks’ 12-1 season that culminated in an Orange Bowl win.

That’s all in the past now, however, and going forward there will be a two-pronged focus as the rumored parting of ways has finally occurred.

One, just where will Mangino land next, if anywhere?  The only “major” openings are at Louisville and Notre Dame, and the former seemingly has their eyes set on Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong while the latter would likely have no interest given the “baggage” that would come with such a hire.

Either way, the way Mangino’s tenure ended would likely make him a tough sell to any program in the immediate future.

And, as to the second prong, to whom will the Jayhawks turn to continue on with a formerly moribund program that Mangino helped raise from the scrap heap and turn into a Big 12 North contender?

One name that has been thrown around as a potential replacement for Mangino is UConn’s Randy Edsall.  Another?  Buffalo head coach Turner Gill.  Gill in particular would seem to be an attractive options given his ties to the region as a former Nebraska quarterback and assistant coach, and how he’s turned around the Bulls football program.

Regardless of who takes over for Mangino, there’s no doubt that the now-former coach left the program in a whole helluva lot better shape than the one he inherited back in 2002.

Chip Kelly reportedly turned down Tennessee offer, turned away Nebraska interest

Getty Images
4 Comments

It really is looking like a two-school race for Chip Kelly‘s services.

On the heels of a weekend meeting with Florida officials in New Hampshire, Kelly also reportedly sat down with a contingent from UCLA this week regarding their head coach opening.  It’s been widely thought that, in the coming days — especially if the Gators have anything to say about it — Kelly would decide between UF and UO and likely not entertain interest from other programs.

In that vein, and citing a person with knowledge of the situation, George Schroeder of USA Today is reporting that Kelly recently turned down an offer from one SEC school and rebuffed the advances from a Big Ten program.

Kelly turned down a recent offer from Tennessee, the person said. He is also believed to have turned away interest from Nebraska.

While two schools are seemingly in the mix at the moment, Schroeder is also reporting that Arizona State, should it come open, would also be of interest to the former Oregon head coach.  Th earliest ASU would shed themselves of Todd Graham would be Saturday night as they square off with rival Arizona that afternoon.

Regardless of where Kelly lands, the current ESPN analyst is set to get paid as it’s believed that the offers he has received are in the neighborhood of $6 million annually.  As Schroeder and other media outlets have pointed out, though, there could be a sticking point with one of the two schools that have Kelly as its top target as UCLA’s apparel provider is Under Armour.  Kelly still maintains a close relationship with Phil Knight, the founder of Nike and whose company is Under Armour’s biggest rival.

While that dynamic is thought of as a sticking point, it’s not believed to be a deal breaker.

Reports: Paul Haynes out as head coach at Kent State

Getty Images
1 Comment

And another one bites the dust.  Reportedly.

FootballScoop.com was the first to report Wednesday morning that Paul Haynes has been let go as the head football coach at Kent State.  The Associated Press subsequently confirmed the initial report, noting that the Golden Flash players were informed of the move earlier today.

The not-yet-official move to part ways with Haynes is far from surprising as the former Ohio State and Arkansas assistant is just 14-45 during his five seasons at the school.  For perspective, the Golden Flashes won 11 games in 2011, the year before Haynes’ arrival.

With Haynes’ ouster, there are now eight FBS head coach openings, with KSU joining Florida, Georgia Southern, Ole Miss, Oregon State, South Alabama, Tennessee, UCLA and UTEP.

Minnesota, P.J. Fleck reach agreement on contract extension

Getty Images
1 Comment

Not even through his first full season as head coach, and P.J. Fleck has already been rewarded for his work.

Minnesota announced Wednesday morning that it has reached an agreement on a contract extension with Fleck into 2023.  The 36-year-old head coach originally signed a five-year contract with the school, making this a two-year extension.

A December meeting of the school’s Board of Regents will rubber stamp the extension and make it official.

“It’s an honor to coach at the University of Minnesota and in the Big Ten,” said Fleck in a statement. “[athletic director] Mark Coyle and I share the same goal of building a championship culture and team at Minnesota. It’s a goal that we are working on daily together and one that we will achieve. I am proud of how hard our young men have worked to improve this season on living a holistic life. They have taken great strides in bettering themselves athletically, academically, socially and spiritually. I look forward to leading them and watching them grow on and off the field as we continue to move this program forward.”

In his first season at Minnesota after coming to the Big Ten program from Western Michigan, Fleck has the Gophers at 5-6.  Fleck took over a team that won nine games in 2016, and, if they fail to beat fifth-ranked Wisconsin Saturday, would have their fewest wins in a season since going 3-9 in Jerry Kill‘s first year in 2011.

On the flip side, his five wins are the first for a first-year Gophers coach since Murray Warmath won seven games in 1954.  Additionally, he became the first coach to win his Gophers debut since John Gutekunst did the same back in 1986.

“When we hired Coach Fleck, I talked about his authentic energy and passion, and his dedication to building a unique team culture. This year, I have seen our students connect with his energy and embrace that culture,” Coyle said in his statement. “From the commitment and hard work of our current students, to building a nationally-ranked recruiting class that will be among the best in program history, I have seen the foundation of what Coach Fleck is building, and I’m looking forward to supporting him for years to come.”

Status of TCU’s top two QBs up in the air for Baylor game

Associated Press
Leave a comment

For a game with significant implications on a couple of levels, this is a little more than mildly intriguing, at least at this point in the week.

If TCU handles one-win Baylor Friday, the Horned Frogs will play Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game next Saturday. If they don’t, they could allow Iowa State to sneak into the title-game side door.

With that much on the line, Gary Patterson seemingly confirmed Tuesday that both his top two quarterbacks, Kenny Hill and Shawn Robinson, are questionable for the Week 13 home game vs. the Bears with unspecified injuries.

The day before, though, Patterson had labeled Hill as “closer to probable” with what’s believed to be a concussion.  Then again, in the days leading up to the Texas Tech game, Patterson had Hill listed as “between probable and questionable” as well.

Hill started the first 10 games of the season, but was injured in the Week 11 loss to Oklahoma and was ultimately ruled out prior to the Tech game. Robinson then started his first career game in Week 12, but was injured in the win over the Red Raiders as well.

If neither is able to go, Grayson Muehlstein would get the nod. The redshirt sophomore, who has yet to attempt a pass in his career, would become the second Horned Frogs in as many weeks to make his first career start at the collegiate level.