He helped lead Oklahoma to its most recent national championship as the Sooners’ offensive coordinator.
Mangino helped lead Kanasas State to six 9-win seasons in his eight years as an assistant in Manhattan.
And he took Kansas to the Orange Bowl. Kansas. To the Orange Bowl.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said Monday that he will be happy to see Mangino again, like he is for all the coaches he has worked with during his career. He’s not happy to see him on the other sideline, though.
“I don’t like to see him across the way,” said Stoops, who worked with Mangino in two stints, hiring him at Oklahoma. “I’m glad he’s doing well and he’s in the conference and I’m sure he’ll continue to make them better.” Iowa State’s offense has seen improvement already this season, Mangino’s first as an offensive coordinator. After failing to eclipse 30 points through the first five games, the Cyclones have passed that mark twice in two games, including a 40-point output in a loss to Texas.
“Mark’s reputation really speaks for itself,” said Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, who worked alongside Mangino for three seasons before both left for head coaching jobs. “He’s won everywhere he’s been and did an unbelievable job at Kansas. Trying to get Iowa State’s offense up and running, he’s done an incredible job. You’ve seen the progression in the team the last couple weeks.”
In every year but his first in Lawrence, Kan., Mangino won at least four games. In the four years since his departure, the Jayhawks have won nine games.
When the Jayhawks won to the Orange Bowl in 2009, they finished the season with 12 victories. It was the best season in school history and was only the fifth time that Kansas eclipsed nine wins since the turn of the century – the 20th century.
“He’s as good a coach as there is,” said Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel, who played for Mangino during the Sooners’ national championship season. “I have a ton of respect for what he’s been able to do in his tenure, in particular what he did at Kansas in turning that program around.”
Now, Mangino is trying to turn another program around.
While it might be a longer process than just one season, his offense is what will provide a test for the Sooners’ defense.
Oklahoma has allowed at least 30 points in each of the past four games, while allowing 18 pass plays of 20 or more yards and 16 runs of 10 or more yards.
Bob Stoops once thought about bringing Mangino back to Norman after Mangino’s time with Kansas. Instead, Mangino found his way to Iowa State, where the Cyclones have lost to Kansas State and Texas this year by a combined seven points.
Mangino will put Oklahoma – more specifically its secondary – on edge.
“The quarterback it starting to throw the ball around, and they’re moving the football,” Mike Stoops said. “It just takes time, and Mark, you can see what he’s done there. There a team that gets better and better each time they step on the field. They’re always going to play hard and they’re going to be well coached. They’re going to know what they are trying to execute every play. It’s going to be a tough test.”