Mangino and KU Prepare for OU

Mark Mangino has fond memories of his assistant coaching days at Oklahoma from 1999-2001. And why shouldn't he? After all, Mangino served as the offensive coordinator on the 2000 OU national championship team. And during his two years as offensive coordinator in 2000 and 2001, the Sooners went 24-2.

He cherishes his memories at Oklahoma and coaching under Bob Stoops. Mangino and Stoops are close friends who actually served together as assistant coaches under Bill Snyder at K-State from 1991-95.
    
Mangino’s Jayhawks now battle Stoops’ Sooners at 2:30 p.m. on ABC this Saturday at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
    
Win or lose, Mangino said the game won’t affect his friendship with Stoops.
    
“It is a great relationship,” Mangino said. “We have played against each other before and we will do it again. He is a very close friend of mine. He is a guy that I can count on and he can count on me in life. But we are both competitive. It has absolutely no effect on the competition that takes place at Owen Field on Saturday. We understand our role in this world and what is expected out of us professionally and that is all that matters. There is no one football game or one recruit that is going to change the relationship that we have.”
    
Mangino is 0-2 against Stoops’ Sooners, falling 41-10 at Norman in 2004, and losing 19-3 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City in 2005. Mangino certainly hopes the game on Saturday will be a different result. A win would not only elevate his team in the national rankings, but also serve as a great recruiting tool in Oklahoma.
    
KU has 12 players on its team from Oklahoma, the state that has produced the third-most Jayhawks on the current roster.
    
“I enjoy going to Oklahoma and recruit kids because you know that those high school kids are well-coached and they have great competition,” Mangino said. “The Jenks-Union game is legendary down there, and they’re also other good programs as well. (Oklahoma) is like Kansas, they are good people down there. If you stop to get gas everybody wants to talk football with you. They are good folks.”

Even though he was only at Oklahoma for three years and has been gone since 2001, Mangino left a lasting legacy during his time in Norman.
    
“I was lucky in that I was able to be there at a time when they won a national championship,” Mangino said. “When you do that they don’t forget very quickly. They know all nine assistant coaches that were on that staff, and they’ve got their names memorized and what they look like and where they hang out. They are really great fans and great people there.”
    
“It’s been helpful for me because I’ve been a part of OU’s program,” Mangino added. “They treat me like I am still a part of their program there. My first three or four years at Kansas, if we won a big game or something, probably 20 percent of my mail was from OU fans that were well-wishers. They’ve treated me good and my family. It was kind of funny, when I got off the bus the last time I went down there (in 2004), the fans were waiting at the gate and they were telling me, ‘welcome home.’
    
“If you win a national championship there, they declare you a resident of Oklahoma forever. I enjoy it. I am fortunate to coach in two states where we have wonderful people and great fans. I’m lucky and I know it.”
    
And will Mangino still be treated like a hero in Oklahoma if No. 16 KU upsets the No. 4 Sooners on Saturday?
    
“It will change a little bit,” Mangino said with a laugh. “That’s all right. I’m willing to take that risk.”

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