We’ve got our Mangurian coach-idate: Three quick thoughts on the Lions new football coach
Well the search is over everybody, we’ve got our coach. Sure, the fish we reeled in here isn’t so big that he’s going to overwhelm you, but at least on paper Pete Mangurian looks like he’s the right man for the job. As someone who has spent the last 30-plus years of his life coaching football, the 56-year-old Mangurian certainly has plenty of experience. The fact that he’s been coached both in college and the NFL adds to his worth, and his three seasons as head coach at Cornell really serve as the cherry on top. Still, all that won’t mean much if Mangurian can’t produce wins on the field. Will he get it done? The answer lies in the the three quick thoughts past the jump.
1. Star Quality
So you know how I said Mangurian has all that experience? Well here are some names of players he’s either coached directly, or at least been around over the years: John Elway, Phil Simms, Michael Vick and Tom Brady. That’s one Hall of Famer, a sure future Hall of Famer, a CBS analyst who will probably be in the Hall of Fame eventually and…Michael Vick. All of them are pretty damn impressive quarterbacks, including Vick when he’s healthy. While Mangurian’s specialty has long been offensive line coach, working with those high profile guys definitely isn’t a negative.
2. ‘Why hello there, nice to see you again’
Here’s an interesting tidbit—Mangurian will be coaching his home games at Robert K. Kraft field, which is named for the CC ’63 graduate. Kraft is best known on the national stage as the owner of the New England Patriots—the team for which Mangurian coached tight ends from 2005-2008. And here’s another tidbit—Columbia’s current Director of Intercollegiate Athletics M. Diane Murphy was the associate athletic director at Cornell from 1995 until October of 1998, the same school where Mangurian was hired in February of 1998. So this means it’s Murphy and Mangurian’s second go-round, along with now coaching the alma mater of the man who was signing his paychecks with the Patriots. Now what does all this mean? Well, probably not that much other than that it’s a small world after all.
3. It’s a big job, hope he’s up to it
When Mangurian went to coach Cornell 13 years ago, their football program was in a much better state than ours is now. Cornell hadn’t finished lower than fourth in the Ivy League for the past eight years and thus it was Mangurian’s job to take the mediocre and make it good. He did that before leaving Cornell to become the Falcons offensive coordinator, as in the 1999 and 2000 seasons, the Big Red went 10-4 against Ivy opponents. Plus, their second place finish in 2000 has yet to be replicated in the past eleven post-Mangurian seasons. The biggest difference between Cornell in ’98 and Columbia now is that Mangurian’s goal will be to take a football program that has not had a winning season since 1996 and make it into a perennial contender. It will certainly be a tough job, but based on Mangurian’s track record of success in the Ivy League as well as the NFL, he definitely seems like the right man for the job.
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