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Bohl, Mangino determined to restore success, pride to KU football

On Dec. 4, Athletics Director Al Bohl took a significant step in restoring success to the KU football program by hiring Mark Mangino from the University of Oklahoma. At OU, where he was offensive coordinator, Mangino was part of a program that went undefeated and won the national championship in 2000; his offensive schemes also brought out the best in quarterback Josh Heupel, a former junior-college transfer who went on to be named consensus All-American under Mangino's guidance. Mangino earned his own important honors as the winner of the Frank Broyles Award, bestowed annually to the national's top assistant football coach. During the two seasons that Mangino was offensive coordinator, the Sooners were 23-2.

"Mark is a very disciplined and thorough coach who has the fire and the emotion you need to motivate a team," OU coach Bob Stoops said when Mangino was hired by KU. "His track record at OU and Kansas State is one of great success. That's a reflection of his leadership."

Prior to his three-season stint at OU, Mangino was an assistant on Bill Snyder's staff at Kansas State, where he helped turn that program into a national powerhouse as recruiting coordinator, running-game coordinator and assistant head coach. Because of his proven ability to recruit top players and devise winning offensive game plans, as well as his tireless work ethic and determination for excellence both on and off the field, KU faithful are confident that Mangino will quickly build a program that all Jayhawks can be proud of.

"I'm here because of Coach Mangino," says quarterback Bill Whittemore, a transfer from Fort Scott Community College who was the Jayhawk Conference's Player of the Year in 2001. "I think he's going to turn this program around and I'd love to be a part of that. Coach Mangino is an awesome person. That's what it boils down to."

Whittemore said that when he began considering KU, he spent a half-hour on the telephone with Heupel. It was that conversation that convinced him to become a Jayhawk.

"Heupel couldn't say enough good things about Coach Mangino," Whittemore said. "He loves his style of offense, and he says he puts a lot of pressure on the quarterback to make the right calls. I know I'm in the right spot."

In a halftime introduction during the Dec. 4 men's basketball game against Wake Forest, Mangino, a 45-year-old native of the football hotbed of northwestern Pennsylvania, stressed to fans his desire to put a winner on the field: "I want you to know we're going to put a football team together and build a program you can be proud of," he announced to the Allen Field House crowd. "Get ready next fall to be waving a lot of wheat."

Fans were already revved up for their new football coach, greeting him with chants of "Man-Gi-No!" as he made his way to center court. "From now on," Mangino said as soon as he was handed a microphone, "I'm going to earn that applause from you."

Excitement is already building for next season, and with several new family and recent- graduate ticket packages available, now is the perfect time to experience the atmosphere and tradition of Memorial Stadium. Bohl's unmatched enthusiasm and Mangino's unwavering determination make KU football an exciting prospect for 2002-and many seasons to come.

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