BREAKING: Mangurian in the Mix
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Former Cornell head coach and long-time NFL assistant Pete Mangurian is seriously interviewing for the head coaching job at Columbia.
There are a lot of reasons why it makes sense that Mangurian is a candidate:
1) Mangurian and Dianne Murphy were at Cornell at the same time. Murphy must have at least sat in on his hiring process in 1997 and must have liked what she saw.
2) Mangurian has been out of football for a year, but at age 56 I think he's no longer entertaining serious thoughts of being an NFL head coach. Coaching at Columbia could be a very good personal move for him at this time.
3) Mangurian knows New York from his years with the Giants. It's not likely he's "New York phobic" in any way.
I thought Mangurian was an excellent coach at Cornell, getting the most out of his players especially in his final year of 2000 when the Big Red went to the final weekend of the season with a chance to win the title with a win over Penn.
The Quakers crushed Cornell that day in Ithaca, but it was amazing that Mangurain got them that far.
He was 2-1 against Columbia in his tenure, losing a mostly dominated game by the Lions at Wien Stadium in 1998 and then winning two nail-biters in 1999 and 2000.
Mangurian's departure at Cornell remains controversial. He left the team unexpectedly too far into 2001 for the program to be adequately prepared. The result was the Big Red hired Tim Pendergast late in the offseason and he turned out to be a disaster for the program.
But Mangurian's reasons for leaving were understandable. His longtime mentor, Dan Reeves, had called and asked him to join his staff with the Atlanta Falcons and he obliged.
I expect more information about Mangurian's strong candidacy in the coming days.
BREAKING: Tim Murphy and Penn State
I can also confirm tonight that Harvard Head Coach Tim Murphy is seriously being considered for the head coaching job at Penn State.
There's a strong possibility that Penn State is pushing this story out there in order to get the positive PR that would come from looking at an Ivy League coach with a squeaky clean reputation.
But Murphy deserves to be a real candidate for the job.
... and getting him off our opposing schedule every year would be nice.