The Mark Mangino era is over at the University of Kansas after the coach agreed on a settlement to resign from his position Thursday night.
Kansas players and assistant coaches met with athletic director Lew Perkins inside the Jayhawks' football complex. Shortly after 6 p.m., coaches and players and Perkins arrived at the complex. Mangino was not seen.
The KU athletic department has been investigating Mangino's treatment of players since Nov. 17. In the weeks since athletic director Lew Perkins made the internal review public, former players have come forward accusing Mangino of physical and verbal abuse. Other former players have rebutted their statements by saying Mangino's tough discipline made them into better men.
Perkins said in a news release that the investigation was complete but that he would not release documents related to the review or the settlement because of legal reasons. Assistant coaches David Beaty, Clint Bowen and Bill Miller will share interim head-coaching duties.
"We appreciate the eight years that Mark has given to rebuilding our football program," Perkins said in the statement. "He and I have reached a mutually satisfactory agreement that reflects the appreciation we have for his efforts on behalf of Kansas Football.
"Mark has brought much success to the football program at KU. He can leave with confidence that he has turned the football program around and set it on a path to even greater future success."
Perkins said he would not comment on potential replacements for Mangino.
Mangino's contract states that if the university had fired him for cause - if he was found to have performed his duties in a discreditable manner or hurt KU's reputation - he would be paid none of the remaining compensation in the deal. Mangino is still owed around $6 million. If KU fired Mangino without cause - the Jayhawks did just lose their last seven games to finish 5-7 after beginning the year with legitimate Big 12 North title hopes - then Mangino would be owed around $6.6 million (the $6 million owed on the contract plus a $600,000 buyout).
Mangino is currently 50-48 in eight seasons - just two wins away from tying A.R. Kennedy's school record of 52 wins set in 1910.
Mangino inherited a program in 2002 that had not had a winning record since 1995 and soon turned the tide. The Jayhawks made the Tangerine Bowl in his second season, nearly upset Texas in his third season and won the Fort Worth bowl in his fourth season.
After a 6-6 season in 2006 didn't produce a bowl berth, Mangino led the Jayhawks to a 12-1 season in 2007 and an Orange Bowl victory over Virginia Tech. He was consensus national coach of the year.
In the two years since, 2007 has only seemed more remarkable by the game. The Jayhawks struggled for much of 2008, going 6-5 before knocking off Missouri in the Border War and winning the Insight Bowl over Minnesota. The 2009 season started with a promising 5-0 start but began to go the other direction after an upset loss at Colorado.
With Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech on the schedule, the past two seasons were supposed to be KU's chance to show it could be a true championship contender in the Big 12. But the Jayhawks were blown out in every game against the big three from the South division.
Kansas had just lost to Nebraska 31-17 to go 5-5 the Saturday before Perkins met with the Jayhawks to inform them of the investigation into their coach's behavior. During the entire process, Mangino has vehemently maintained that he did nothing inappropriate.
After KU's 41-39 loss to Missouri to end the season, Mangino said that he was one of the more pleasant people to deal with in college football.
"Trust me," he affirmed.