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Pirate Coaching Profile No. 1
1. Jerry McManus, 06/27/02
2. Paul Jette, 08/08/02
3. Steve Shankweiler, 09/26/02

Al Myatt 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 McManus

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:

As a 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 ever since.”

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 be:

“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.”

Favorite movie:

“Home Alone. We watch it every Christmas. It makes me laugh.”

Favorite book:

“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.”


Racketball, jogging.

Ideal vacation:

“To be at the beach, just my wife and I.”

Recruiting responsibility:

North Carolina, East of I-95.

McManus's outlook:
  • 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 position.”
  • 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 salty.”
  • 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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02/23/2007 12:58:41 AM

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