Pirate Coaching Profile No. 1
profiles Jerry McManus.
Thursday, June 27, 2002
Myatt is the ECU beat writer for The News & Observer.
The Jerry McManus file
One aspiration of this column in the summer months is to get
to know East Carolina’s football coaching staff a little better and this
week that objective starts with running backs coach Jerry McManus. The
profile on the assistants deals with some personal information as well as
their professional roles. Hopefully it will be interesting and insightful.
You probably didn’t know Jerry’s middle name. He checked his
driver’s license to make sure of the spelling. Let’s meet the man players
know as “Coach Mac.”
Full name: Gerald Xavier
|Date of birth: Jan. 18, 1954
Place of birth: East Orange, NJ
High school: South Broward, Hollywood, FL, 1972
College: Wake Forest, 1978
|Highlight of playing career:
quarterback for the Demon Deacons in 1975, McManus threw for two
touchdowns and ran for another in a 30-22 win at No. 15 N.C. State.
How did you get into coaching?
“Chuck Mills was the coach at Wake Forest and I had
one semester to graduate. Steve Bernstein, the secondary coach, asked
me if I wanted to work as a graduate assistant. Later, Coach Mills was
fired and Coach Bernstein went to Virginia Tech to coach under Bill
Dooley and I was a graduate assistant there. I’ve enjoyed coaching
McManus’ first fulltime job as an assistant was
secondary coach at Tulane in 1982 when former Notre Dame coach Bob
Davie was defensive coordinator for the Green Wave. McManus is
entering his seventh season at ECU.
|If I hadn’t gone into coaching, I would probably
“My intention was to get into broadcasting. I had a degree
in communication and I was kind of headed in that direction.”
Wife, Robin; daughter, Kelly (18);
son, Ryan (15); daughter, Katie (12).
|How did you meet your wife?
“I was taking a
group of recruits out to eat at a restaurant when I was a graduate
assistant at Virginia Tech and one of the waitresses said she wanted
me to meet her roommate.”
|Tell us about your children:
“Kelly will be
a freshman at Wake Forest this fall on a Davis scholarship. She was
valedictorian of her class at D.H. Conley. Ryan is a sophomore at
Conley and plays football and baseball. He will be a quarterback on
the junior varsity. That’s sort of a third generation family thing. I
played quarterback and my brother Danny played quarterback at Florida
State. My brother now plays for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the
Canadian Football League. Katie plays for the Pitt County Rockets, a
12-and-under traveling softball team.”
“Home Alone. We watch it
every Christmas. It makes me laugh.”
“Turn up the Wick, a
biography of Frank Beamer (Virginia Tech coach). It’s Coach Whitten’s
book but I read it on the trip back from TCU. I enjoyed it because I
knew a lot of the people Coach Beamer talked about in the book.”
“To be at the beach, just my
wife and I.”
East of I-95.
- Keys for the ECU football team in the 2002 season: “We’ve got to
stay healthy. We can’t afford to get anybody seriously injured.”
- Strengths at running back: “Speed. We’ve got two of the fastest
kids on the team (Art Brown and Marvin Townes). It’s the first time
since I’ve been here that we’ve had that kind of speed at that
- Concerns at running back: “Toughness. We’ll miss Leonard Henry’s
toughness. I’m concerned about durability and the physical level we
have to play 12 games. Leonard was physical and came to play every
snap. Art and Marvin are going to have to prove that. We can’t
afford for either to get nicked up and miss a game.”
- Who is the preseason favorite in Conference USA? “It’s got to be
Louisville. They’ve got so many guys coming back on defense and a
good quarterback (Dave Ragone). I know they lost a few guys on
offense but they’ve still got Ragone and their defense is pretty
- Goal for the season: “Win. That’s every season. What we’ve
always tried to do every year is win the first game, the last game
and not lose two in a row in between. Everybody wants to win the
conference. The big thing is don’t get too high or too low and take
it one game at a time.”
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