DALLAS — Baylor head coach Art Briles is one of the brightest offensive minds in all of football. His Bears led the nation in scoring last season while averaging a whopping 52.4 points per game. After taking over a lackluster Baylor program in 2008, Briles can certainly relate to the career of Iowa State’s new offensive coordinator, Mark Mangino.
Briles, who won a Big 12 championship in Waco last season, is winning at a program that lacks tradition. That is exactly what Mangino, the 2007 National Coach of the Year, did during his time at Kansas.
“Stud,” Briles matter-of-factly said when describing Mangino at the Big 12’s media days on Monday afternoon in Dallas. “He is a great coach. He was great at OU. He was great at Kansas. He will be great there. I have guys on my staff who played for him at OU. He is a big time coach. He’s a good guy and that was a good hire by Paul (Rhoads). No question.”
That was the general response from the Big 12’s fleet of coaches in reference to Mangino’s return to the league on Monday.
Texas Tech’s 34-year old head coach Kliff Kingsbury was a Red Raider quarterback during Mangino’s final year leading the show in Lawrence. Kingsbury, a Mike Leach clone, was very appreciative for Mangino’s talent.
“I think he is a great offensive mind,” Kingsbury said. “I know that when he was at OU by talking to Coach Leach about when they coached together, he would talk about how smart he was and how bright he was. For him to take Kansas to a BCS game was incredible. I expect him to be a great addition to that staff and I’m sure they will get that offense rolling.”
Mangino will have his work cut out for him. Contrary to Baylor’s success, Iowa State averaged a lowly 24.8 points per game last year, which ranked the Cyclones 91st in the country.
Iowa State is the fourth Big 12 school that Mangino has coached at over the course of his long career that dates back to 1985. He had success at Kansas State, was the top coordinator in college football at Oklahoma and of course, had the improbable run to a BCS win at Kansas.
“I think he has added to the culture that Paul has already started and has had going over the last three or four years,” Briles said. “They are a really good football team.”
Charlie Weis vaguely knows Mangino
Kansas’ current head coach, Charlie Weis, doesn’t directly know his program’s former head coach, Mark Mangino.
The pair does have a mutual friend though – some guy in the coaching business named John from Newcastle, Penn.
“I don’t know much about him other than what my friend told me,” Weis said. “I wish him nothing but success, just not when they are playing us.”
What exactly did this friend tell Weis about Mangino?
“Between hot dogs and donuts, that’s all that guys talk about in Newcastle,” Weis joked. “There are two subjects. There is a famous donuts shop and the hot dogs.”
Point: Weis wasn’t going to go there when it came to discussing Kansas’ second most successful coach of all-time, who just happens to be Iowa State’s new offensive coordinator.
“He was two coaches ago,” Weis said. “I have nothing negative to say about anyone who worked at Kansas before me.”