One of the few football coaches I follow on Twitter is Mark Mangino, the former head coach of Kansas who was sacked after a moderate scandal but mostly because he was fat and unpleasant. He’s lost a lot of the weight, but as far as being unpleasant goes, well… he takes to mocking the schools that have fired him on Twitter. That’s… something coaches almost never do. He’s been going after Kansas for a while, though last year he was fired by Iowa State (as a coordinator) mid-season. Iowa State lost to FCS Northern Iowa, and he retweeted a potshot. Actually, it might not have been so bad if not for last year.

I suspect he’s not going to be on the radar for any good jobs any time soon. Which is a shame, because he’s a pretty great coach. (And his bitterness is not unjustified, particularly at Kansas, which has won an average of two games a season since he was tossed.)

A few seasons back, Southern Tech had a tremendously bad season opener. Deltona Poly is one of those schools we should never, ever lose to. We had a mostly new coaching staff and a new quarterback. But not only did we lose, we lost badly. It wasn’t even close. While head coach Harvey Fulbright was not a brilliant coach, he was brilliant in doing one thing: before he took over, he purchased FireHarveyFulbright.com. The next day, there was a picture of him and the team with the words “Relax. It’s just one game.”

Fulbright did, however, fire his new offensive coordinator. After one game. Offensive coordinator John Breuk spent the rest of the season on a paid vacation, and then the next season got a job at a Division II school as a coordinator. As it happened, a scandal pre-dating his tenure erupted there, and suddenly he was a head coach. He went 11-3 and made the tournament final. The offense did very well.

Flash forward a couple of years and Fulbright needs another offensive coordinator. It became a common joke that there is this Division II coach who is really pretty good and maybe we should hire him! Just one problem…

When Fulbright got canned, we were in the market for a head coach. One coach that was mentioned pretty regularly was the head coach at Cal State. He seemed rather particular about what head coach job he would be willing to take, but he played football as a Southern Tech Packer. So maybe he would reconsider? Oh, yeah, he played for Southern Tech because his father was the head coach, and he was fired in a pretty messy situation. We were invited to a bowl game and he refused to coach it. His tenure at our school had kind of ruined Dad’s head coaching career. So nobody was surprised when he declined to interview.

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I thought of these stories this weekend as there were a couple of instances of coaches who were fired getting the last laugh.

The first is Southern Miss offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson, who was something of a fall guy at Kentucky when the Wildcats had a bad season last year. This year, Southern Miss opened up against Kentucky:

Dawson’s new team Southern Miss just happened to open at Kentucky, and the Wildcats jumped out to a 35-10 second quarter lead.

But Dawson’s Eagles offense moved 84 yards in three plays just before the half to pull within 35-17. Then they marched 84 yards to open the second half, and now the score was 35-24. And then Southern Miss moved 66 yards in eight plays to pull within 35-31.

On its next possession, Southern Miss again found the end zone, marking four straight touchdowns to turn a 35-10 lead into a 38-35 advantage.

Kentucky finally slowed down the Flying Shannon Dawsons on their final two possessions — sort of. Both traveled more than 50 yards, and both ended in field goals.

Overall, Southern Miss moved 409 yards over 55 plays and six possessions, producing 34 points over that span.

A more high-profile example was Lane Kiffin, who was infamously fired on a tarmac at LAX coming home from a game. He’s the offensive coordinator at Alabama, who just handed USC their worst loss in a very long time:

You might think Alabama’s play on the field Saturday night would do all the talking its offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin needed to say.

Fifty-two points, 223 passing yards (most of which came on the arm of true freshman Jalen Hurts), 242 rushing yards and 7.4 yards per play tend to say a lot.

So does your Twitter account, especially when you have 136,000 followers.

So on Sunday, after handing his former employer its worst opening day loss since the 19th century, Kiffin took a direct shot at USC with a hashtag that has surely never been used before, nor will ever be used again.

Kiffen never holstered his gun and ran up the score as much as he could. Which I, of course, have no problem so long as you let your backups play. And as the article mentioned, after the game he got another shot in:


Category: Theater

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2 Responses to Revenge of the Football Coach

  1. greginak says:

    Alternate theory about Kiffin. He is a raging jerk. Of course that type also enjoys their revenge.

    • trumwill says:

      I’ve always thought he was kind of a punk and was kind of glad to see him get his. But since getting canned, he’s been remarkably humble.

      Well, until he got a chance to stick it to USC. And I hate USC, so hey.

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