Mark Mangino was introduced at a press conference late last week, officially joining the Youngstown State staff as the assistant head coach and tight ends coach, as well as handling the responsibilities of recruiting coordinator. For Mangino, a man that has coached at places like Kansas State, Oklahoma, and Kansas, this coaching stop marked a first for him.
"All my career, I've really taken jobs where there is rebuilding work to be done." he explained. "This is the first time I can remember in a really long time that I am taking a position that is in pretty good shape, and is poised to move to the next level. This isn't a rebuilding job here."
For Mangino, the opportunity to be back around family and friends (he grew up in nearby New Castle, Pennsylvania and graduated from YSU before starting off his college coaching career with the Penguins) and work under a former player as highly regarded as Eric Wolford was simply too good of an opportunity to pass up.
Mangino explains that he took the past few seasons away from coaching taking advantage of the extra time to travel with his wife, and watch some Florida high school football games and practices. He added that he also got out to visit four or five NFL training camps, as well as 10-15 Division I schools and staffs.
Mangino getting back into coaching is big for both him and Youngstown State. The new gig allows him to return to a familiar area and a school that he's passionate about, and YSU gets a coach that has a proven track record of winning (in some tough environments), including numerous coach of the year awards at Kansas from their outstanding 2007 season.
The press conference has a lot of good material in it, including some tough questions from the media about Mangino's exit at Kansas. From beginning to end, Mangino handles the presser with poise and class.
"It's either your glass is half full, or it's half empty," Mangino explains at the 16:13 mark . "So if you watch my work, your glass is half full. If you just listen to second hand information, and sources that are not close to me than you may have a different opinion."
"Here's a guy that played for me," Mangino added, pointing to Wolford. "I couldn't believe that he would hire someone without having the utmost faith in his ability to coach and deal with people. He's a smart guy, and he didn't have to offer me this position."