Born January 19, 1971 in Hartford, Connecticut, Mangini is a graduate of Bulkeley High School in Hartford, and Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, the son-in-law of renowned sports agent Ronald M. Shapiro, and the brother-in-law of Cleveland Indians general manager Mark Shapiro. He played football in high school as a linebacker and later at Wesleyan University. Mangini played nose tackle at Wesleyan and set a school record with 36.5 career sacks, also ranking second in school history in total tackles. Mangini coached a semi-pro team in Melbourne, Australia during a semester abroad. His former head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots graduated from Wesleyan as well, and the two were brothers in the Chi Psi Fraternity, separated by two decades.
Mangini worked his way up in the NFL under the tutelage of Bill Belichick. He began his career as a ball boy with Cleveland at the age of 23, and later became an intern in the public relations. While working as a ball boy, he was often quoted as saying "no job is too small in the NFL." He worked 18 hours a day in the PR department, and at night he took copies of stats in the copyroom. Belichick, at the time the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, found him there, and liked him so much that he asked the general manager if they had another job for him. Mangini was given the job of putting film together for the Browns coordinators.
Before the Jets
Prior to coaching the New York Jets, Mangini worked for the New England Patriots under Belichick, first as their defensive backs coach (2000–2004), and later as their defensive coordinator (2005). Before that Belichick gave him a job as an assistant in the Cleveland Browns organization (1995). Mangini was part of the Baltimore Ravens' inaugural staff in 1996, where he was a quality control/offensive assistant coach. From 1997–1999, he worked with the Jets as a defensive assistant/quality control coach. That was also when Belichick was assistant head coach/defensive coordinator.
Head Coach of the Jets
Mangini was named head coach of the New York Jets on January 17, 2006, two days before his 35th birthday, beating out former Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Tice, former New Orleans Saints head coach Jim Haslett, and New York Giants defensive coordinator Tim Lewis.
On September 10, 2006, Mangini made his regular season debut as head coach. The Jets were the victors in a 23-16 road win against the Tennessee Titans. Mangini was shortly after nicknamed the Penguin by Jets wide receiver Laveranues Coles. He is one of four head coaches to have a winning record in his first season with the Jets (Bill Parcells, Al Groh, and Herman Edwards are the others). Mangini finished his rookie season with a 10-6 record, the same as former Jets coach Herman Edwards did in his rookie year. Edwards received a higher salary after the playoffs.
The Jets clinched an AFC wild card spot on December 31 by beating the Oakland Raiders at home by the score of 23–3, in the final game of the regular season. They would later go on to lose the Wild Card playoff game, 37–16, to the Patriots under Belichick. Nevertheless, it marks a turn around orchestrated by the Jets and often injured quarterback Chad Pennington who overcame all odds after sustaining two rotator cuff injuries. Pennington finished the season setting career marks in yards, completions, and attempts, earning him honors as the 2006 NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
In recognition of the success Mangini had in his first season as head coach of the Jets, he was named 2006 AFC Coach of the Year at the NFL 101 Awards.
The second year (2007) under Mangini was less fruitful for the Jets, who went 4–12 during the regular season, failing to qualify for the playoffs. The season started off with the notorious Spygate allegations, where Mangini exposed Belichick's sinister camera activities.
On December 29, 2008, after a 1-4 collapse to end the season, missing out on the playoffs for a second straight year, Mangini was fired. His record as Jets head coach was 23-25, with an 0-1 playoff record.
Mangini and his wife Julie, have three sons, Jake, Luke, and Zack. They own a vacation home in Brewster, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. Cleveland Indians General Manager Mark Shapiro is Mangini's brother-in-law. Mangini also had a cameo in an episode of the mob drama The Sopranos.
Mangini is also known for naming his children after important figures in his career as a professional football coach. His son Zack was born on Brett Favre's 39th birthday, and Mangini had promised Favre that he would name his son after the quarterback should he choose to sign with the Jets. As such, Mangini's third son is named Zack Brett. In addition, his first son, Jake Harrison, is named after New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison, and his middle child is named Luke William after Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
|Preceeded by||Jets Head Coach||Succeeded by|
|Herman Edwards||2006 - 2008||Vacant|