Kansas coach wins Bear Bryant award

January 17, 2008 8:59:08 PM PST
Kansas coach Mark Mangino won the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award on Thursday as the college football coach of the year. "I'm honored to win Coach Bryant's award," said Mangino, who coached the Jayhawks to a 12-1 record and a win in the Orange Bowl. "It's a reflection on the people who made our program great, the players, the assistant coaches and others in the school.

"I'm the head coach but it takes a lot to have a successful program. I'm not the smartest guy in the world, but I'm smart enough to know you've got to get good people around you to win."

Mangino never met Bryant, but said, "when I was younger, I watched him on TV and I read everything I could read about him and tried to figure out what he did, how he did it to win all those games."

Mangino was also the AP's coach of the year and won the Eddie Robinson Award handed out by the Football Writers Association of America.

Kansas set school records for wins in a season and highest ranking, when Kansas was ranked No. 2 in the nation in November.

The Jayhawks were among the nation's top teams in scoring offense, total offense, scoring defense and total defense and led the nation in fewest penalties and turnover margin.

Mangino took the award over seven finalists including Les Miles, who coached LSU to the national championship, Missouri's Gary Pinkel and Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech.

Other finalists were Mississippi State's Sylvester Croom, former Hawaii coach June Jones, and Ron Zook of Illinois.

Former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne, who won 255 games in 25 years with the Cornhuskers, was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.

The Bryant award is chosen by the association in conjunction with the American Heart Association.

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