- Jake Trotter, ESPN Staff Writer
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Mark Mangino is back in the Big 12.
And he’ll have some offensive firepower to operate with immediately, too.
Monday, Iowa State announced it was bringing Mangino back to the Big 12 to be its offensive coordinator.
“He has an imaginative offensive mind, an ability to play to his players’ strengths, a track record of winning and a tremendous familiarity with the Big 12,” head coach Paul Rhoads said. “In terms of calling plays and executing a game plan, he is top shelf.”
Mangino replaces Courtney Messingham, who was fired after Iowa State finished in the bottom three of the Big 12 in points per game (24.8), yards per game (363), yards per play (4.82), rushing yards (143.83) and passing yards (219.17).
While he spent last season as an assistant head coach and tight ends coach at his alma mater, Youngstown State, Mangino is known for previous stints in the Big 12.
Mangino coordinated Oklahoma’s national championship offense in 2000. Then as head coach, he led Kansas to a 12-1 record in 2007, which included a victory in Orange Bowl, before resigning two years later amid allegations of player mistreatment.
After four years away from coaching in the FBS, Mangino paid the price for those allegations. Now, one of the most successful coaches in Big 12 history has another shot in the league.
And even though the Cyclones struggled offensively under Messingham last season, Mangino just might have enough pieces to quickly rebuild the Iowa State offense.
Especially if rising sophomore Grant Rohach continues to develop at quarterback.
The Cyclones entered the season with Sam B. Richardson as their starter, but finished it with Rohach after Richardson was shut down due to injuries. After struggling initially, Rohach blossomed late in the year, suggesting the job might be his to lose. He quarterbacked the Cyclones to victories over Kansas and West Virginia, and combined to throw for 631 yards and seven touchdowns in those games, giving him a QBR of better than 85.0 in both.
Mangino will have returning talent elsewhere, too.
When healthy, tailback Aaron Wimberly was a force, rushing for 117 yards and a touchdown against Texas. Quenton Bundrage showed flashes as a sophomore that he could become a viable No. 1 receiver while finishing third in the league in touchdown receptions.
What Rhoads has lacked is the offensive mind able to flip those pieces into a consistent and effective offense.
In Mangino, Rhoads now has that mind -- and an offensive coach who has proven he can win big in the Big 12.