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NCAA Football Big 12 FootballOklahoma Sooners

Is Mark Mangino Returning to the Sidelines?

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

This has been a rumor that has been floating around off and on since mid-season 2012. I wrote an article about it and ended up scrapping it considering the source of where I heard it, but now it is being whispered through the grapevine on a more consistent basis and from more reliable sources.

Word on the street is that the Oklahoma Sooners may be welcoming back a former assistant coach, Mark Mangino. For those of you who don’t remember, Mangino was on the Sooner sidelines from 1999-2001 before taking over as head coach of the Kansas Jayhawks in 2002. He would be replacing another coach, that is rumored to already be out the door. Let’s just say, for now, that it is an offensive coach.

Mangino turned the Jayhawk program around and coached them into their first BCS appearance in the 2008 Orange Bowl. His tenure with the Jayhawks ended in 2009, after years of controversy that included academic fraud allegations, discipline issues and accusing refs of favoritism.

Since being driven out of Lawrence, you would every now and again spot Mangino, which is hard to miss, on the Sooners sidelines during games and practices. He was said to be there as a “consultant.” Not so sure what he was consulting, but I spotted him from the stands on more than one occasion.

While change just might be what the Sooners need, since they seem to have hit a slump, but change involving Mangino may not be it. Mangino received the Frank Broyles Award while with Oklahoma for being the top assistant in the country and almost every coaching award under the sun in 2007. I know head coach Bob Stoops is loyal to his staff and hasn’t fired anyone since taking over the program. This new rumor may be the first fire/hire he has had to do. Stoops’ loyalty may be one of the issues. There is nothing wrong with being loyal, but if it doesn’t translate well on the field, it clearly isn’t working.

Again, it is all hearsay at the moment. Nothing official out of the school yet, obviously.