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Eric Mangini's Mentor not Shocked at Sudden Rise

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  1. mikey

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    http://www.nydailynews.com/02-01-2006/sports/story/387479p-328821c.html

    Mentor not shocked by Eric's sudden rise

    DETROIT - The man who discovered new Jets coach Eric Mangini is at the Super Bowl. His name is Kevin Spencer, a Queens product, and he coaches the Steelers' special teams.

    Spencer, the former coach at Wesleyan, recruited Mangini and coached him for three years at the Middletown, Conn., school. He also got Mangini his first job in the NFL, a low-level position with the Browns in 1995. At the time, Spencer was working in Cleveland and the coach was Bill Belichick. "He collected socks and jocks," Spencer said, describing Mangini's job as an equipment boy. "Good Lord, it's still hard for me to believe he's a head coach," Spencer added. "Not that he's not capable, it's just that I still look at him as a kid."

    Spencer said he's not surprised Mangini, 35, the youngest NFL head coach, got his shot so quickly. "You knew it was a matter of time," he said. "He just had to find the right opportunity. He's very bright and a tough, competitive person. I always used to tease him. I said, 'Some day, I'm going to come to you and you're going to be able to hire me.' You knew a kid like that was going to rise, and he did."

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