Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Coach Mangino Recognized For Achievements in Responsibility On and Off the Field
December 4, 2007
LAWRENCE, Kan. -
Kansas Head Football Coach Mark Mangino has been named a finalist for the 2007 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, which honors the college football coaches who best exemplify responsibility and excellence on and off the field of play. Fans can cast a vote for Coach Mangino to win for Division 1-A by December 15 at www.coachoftheyear.com. The winner will be announced on December 29 during an ABC/ESPN special.
"More than a half-million fan votes were cast for 597 college football coaches this season, a tremendous and passionate outpouring of support from college football fans across the nation," said Greg Gordon, Liberty Mutual vice president, Consumer Marketing. "Each finalist embodies what makes this award different than any other: responsibility - not only to his own team and players, but also to his school and his community."
Mangino, the Big 12 Coach of the Year, led the Jayhawks to a program-best 11 victories and a bid to the FedEx Orange Bowl this year. KU opened the season with 11 straight wins, defeating such traditional powers as Kansas State, Colorado, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M on the road. Mangino's Jayhawks also posted home wins over MAC champion Central Michigan, Southeastern Louisiana, Toledo, Florida International, Baylor, Nebraska and Iowa State at home. In KU's victory over Nebraska on Nov. 3, Mangino's crew dropped a record 76 points on their long-time nemesis.
The Jayhawks received very little fanfare before the season, but earned a spot in the top 25 after winning at then-No. 24 K-State on Oct. 6. After the team's 11th straight victory to open the year, Kansas climbed as high as No. 2 in the Bowl Championship Series rankings, as well as No. 2 in the AP and USA Today polls. KU ended the regular season ranked in the No. 8 spot in all three polls.