The recent news of KU adding three names to the Ring of Honor in Memorial Stadium drew the ire of one man who knows what he’s talking about - former Kansas football coach Mark Mangino.
Do not misunderstand, Mangino was happy for the three who will be inducted this fall. But, he was very vocal and emphatic about some names that he feels are missing from the Ring, specifically Charles Gordon (pictured above), Nick Reid, and James McClinton.
The primary crux of Mangino’s dissatisfaction appears to stem from the fact that, when he was the head coach, KU’s policy was to put AP All-Americans up there first. To be fair to the University, all of KU’s first-team All-Americans are already in the Ring except one, kicker Bruce Kallmeyer.
Wikipedia says that the Ring of Honor at Memorial Stadium is intended to honor Kansas All-Americans and others who have made a significant on-field contribution to the football program. That sounds about right, although it’s weird that there’s no mention of it by Kansas Athletics on the official website.
But without further ado, here is Rock Chalk Talk’s official list of Ring of Honor nominations (in no particular order). This list focuses on All-Americans missing from the Ring; we’ll have a second round of “significant on-field” contributors coming up in a couple of weeks.
First Round Nominees
Bruce Kallmeyer, K, 1980-83
The only first team All-American selection NOT on in the Ring of Honor, Kallmeyer was the school record holder for career field goals made when he left school (since broken by Dan Eichloff). Kallmeyer still holds the record for field goal percentage, hitting 53 of 69 in his four years, good for 76.8%.
He was named first team All-Big 8 and first team All-American his senior year of 1983, when he hit 24 of 29 field goals.
Gil Reich, CB, QB/HB/PR/P/K, 1952
Regardless, Reich only played one season at Kansas, primarily playing CB, but also splitting time starting at QB with Jerry Robertson. Reich also occasionally lined up at halfback and returned punts. In addition to his defensive prowess, he is credited with 428 yards of offense and 5 touchdown passes. On top of all of that, Reich also served as KU’s primary punter and kicked extra points for a team that went 7-3, dropping two 1-point affairs to Nebraska and Missouri.
The story about how Reich ended up at KU is an interesting one that I’ll not get into here, but, if All-Americans are supposed to be recognized first, Reich deserves consideration even if he only played one season in Lawrence.
Tony Sands, RB, 1988-91
KU’s only conference Offensive Player of the Year winner, Tony Sands was one of the few bright spots over the 4-year period from 1988-1991. In his final season, he led the Big Eight in yards from scrimmage, rushing yards, and rushing attempts, being named the Big Eight Offensive Player of the Year and also to the All-Big Eight First Team and third team All-America.
His most well-known game came against the Missouri Tigers in 1991, when he set the NCAA record for most yards in a single game with 396 yards and 4 touchdowns. The record stood for 8 seasons. He still ranks second on the career rushing yards list at KU and third in rushing TDs.
Dana Stubblefield, DL, 1989-92
Still sixth at KU in career sacks, he was named first team All-Big 8 in both 1991 and 1992 as well as second team All-American, helping lead KU to the Aloha Bowl in his senior season. He was taken in the first round, 26th overall in the 1993 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. While in the NFL, Stubblefield was named Rookie of the Year (1993) and Defensive Player of the Year (1997).
Charles Gordon, WR/CB, 2003-05
Playing WR and CB from 2003-2005, he led the nation in INTs his sophomore season before helping to lead KU to the Fort Worth Bowl win over Houston in his junior campaign. Gordon was first team All-Big 12 his sophomore and junior seasons. In his career, Gordon caught 106 passes for 1232 yards and 9 TDs while adding 9 INTs in 37 total games.
Gordon was third team All-American in 2004.
Nick Reid, LB, 2002-05
A stalwart on the defense under Mark Mangino, Reid was a four-year starter who played in 48 games in his Kansas career. During that time, he amassed 416 tackles, 3 INTs, 6 forced fumbles, and 14 sacks. Reid is the second leading tackler in Kansas history. After his senior season in 2005, he was named first team All-Big 12, third team All-American, and the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year. Reid helped lead the Jayhawks to two bowl games, the 2003 Tangerine Bowl and the 2005 Fort Worth Bowl.
Sometimes, I don’t care that he missed Vince Young on that 4th-and-18 (4:08 mark). Other times, I really, really do.
James McClinton, DL, 2004-07
McClinton started 36 games in his Kansas career, culminating in a 2007 season that saw him named second team All-American and first team All-Big 12. He didn’t put up huge stats, but consistently took up two or three blockers to allow teammates to make plays. Mangino recently referred to McClinton as “dominant,” and we here at RCT recently recognized him as an “X-Factor” on that 2007 Orange Bowl squad.