Dec. 5, 2007
Kansas head coach Mark Mangino has been named one of eight finalists for the 2007 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, which is sponsored by the Football Writers Association of America and the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
Mangino joins Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer, Air Force's Troy Calhoun, Arizona State's Dennis Erickson, Hawaii's June Jones, Missouri's Gary Pinkel, Ohio State's Jim Tressel and Illinois' Ron Zook.
The sixth-year Kansas coach, who was named 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 season. 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.
This marks the second national coach of the year award that Mangino has been named a finalist for.
The winner of the FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award will be announced and honored on Jan. 4 in New Orleans in conjunction with the BCS Championship Game.
The eight-ranked Jayhawks (11-1) will play No. 3 Virginia Tech (11-2) in the FedEx Orange Bowl on Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. CST.