Former Kansas football coach Mark Mangino officially returned to college football on Friday, accepting a job as an assistant head coach at Youngstown State, his alma mater.
"This is a homecoming for me," Mangino said. "I’m delighted to be at a great school with a great football tradition with a team and coach poised to do great things."
Mangino, 56, who coached at Kansas from 2002-09, hasn’t worked in college football since a messy breakup with KU at the end of the 2009 season. Mangino parted ways with the program after former KU athletic director Lew Perkins launched an internal investigation into allegations of improper treatment of players.
Before the allegations, Mangino had led the Jayhawks to back-to-back bowl bids for the first time in school history, including a historic victory in the 2008 Orange Bowl.
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Mangino does have connections at Youngstown State. He was an assistant under former Penguins coach Jim Tressel from 1985-87, and current Youngstown State coach Eric Wolford was an offensive lineman at Kansas State in the early 1990s, when Mangino served as an assistant under Bill Snyder.
"Every coaching job I have ever taken was a rebuilding project," Mangino said, "but this program is not rebuilding. This program has the potential to have a very good year and that’s a credit to Eric Wolford, his staff and his team."
Mangino, a native of Newcastle, Pa., guided Kansas to a 50-48 record in eight seasons after arriving in Lawrence in 2002. He previously worked as an assistant coach for Bob Stoops at Oklahoma from 1992-2001 after spending 1991-1998 as an assistant at Kansas State.
Earlier this year, Mangino told The Oklahoman he was ready to get back into coaching, a return that was delayed by his wife’s battle with breast cancer. Mary Jane Mangino was diagnosed last year, Mangino said.
“My family comes before the game,” Mangino told The Oklahoman. “It’s helped me get things in perspective, too. She’s joked with me, ‘Winning and losing football games isn’t really a matter of life or death is it?’ “I said, ‘No, it’s not. It’s not.’”