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Football, McManus, Questions, Etc.

Created on: 06/07/09 02:09 AM Views: 7024 Replies: 6
Football, McManus, Questions, Etc.
Posted Saturday, June 6, 2009 09:09 PM


If I remember things correctly, the head coach of our freshmen football team was none other than Vernon McManus. He was a true classic – one of kind – most memorable character that anyone of us came in contact with in our meager athletic adventures. And for the Class of ’70, we were blessed for four years with Coach McManus as our main mentor.

It was the spring of ’68 that Bobby Jack Price was named head coach to replace Joe Bill Fox. Coach Price suffered a heart attack and was unable to return to coaching. His replacement was none other than the “Little All-American” from Lamar University – McManus. And, as Gary McCaffery (’69) said recently, “Under the circumstances, we should have the Coach Price’s body exhumed and re-examined for any possible foul play.”
Was there anyone of us who did spend time at the “pole”?
I remember how incredible it was that we beat Temple two years in a row – our junior year they were ranked #1 in the state.
Remember the “Kill Dusek” yell we did from the start of two-a-days until the end of the game? MacArthur 16 – Temple 8! And then in our senior year we travel to Temple and beat them again 14 – 13. Didn’t Jimmy Steves block a punt?
Remember McManus’s music – “Honky Tonk Man” and “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”?
It was sad to lose Coach Baker this year. He was one of the good guys!
I understand there are some news stories/ articles about Coach McManus and his run in with the Texas judicial system and time on death row, and then being set free, if anyone can share them that would be great.
Has anyone been in contact with Coach McManus lately?
I’m sure there are a lot of great stories out there – so come on guys share them with us. I bet they have gotten much better by now!

Jack Bush

Edited 06/07/09 08:30 AM
RE: Football, McManus, Questions, Etc.
Posted Sunday, June 7, 2009 05:54 AM


Jack, Ron Zimmerman sent me an article recently about McManus from the Beaumont Enterprise News. It sounds like he has not lost his charm or people skills! As I recall, McManus stayed in touch with Stuart Platt while he was in prison. I am not sure if Platt has had any contact with him since he got out or not.

As an interesting aside, I have had the opportunity to get to know Coach Price's widow, Mary Beth. The summer of 1999, I went as a sponsor with my youngest son's youth choir from Trinity Baptist Church on a mission trip. I drove a van of students and Mary Beth rode shotgun. She had some amazing stories about some of the "stuff" that went on while we were at Mac. After Coach Price left Mac, he did things at the district level for NEISD. When he died, he had just been selected to be Principal at Eisenhower but passed away before the school year got started.

Edited 06/07/09 07:06 AM
RE: Football, McManus, Questions, Etc.
Posted Wednesday, March 3, 2010 11:58 AM

I have added some "old" football photos under my profile that some of you may find interesting.

John Garner

RE: Football, McManus, Questions, Etc.
Posted Thursday, June 3, 2010 10:48 AM

OMG!  Not theee John Garner....I'll give you a short background:  Maiden name Margie Mendez; 1st married name Margie Gremmel; now just Margarita Mendez Gwinn.  I haven't lived in SA for several years; since I moved back I like to look at this web site....some of the stuff is sad, but a lot of it is so great!

Hope life is good for you. MMG

RE: Football, McManus, Questions, Etc.
Posted Monday, August 16, 2010 08:15 AM

I was with McManus for 3 years at Mac, but I was able to spend another 4 years with him at Lamar University as my offensive line coach.  I showed up the first day, and he had moved me to the center position.  I had never snapped a ball in my life, so it was a challange that I had to face.  The 2nd year they moved me to right tackle. Why I have no idea, I weighed 206 pounds that year.  Finally they moved me back to center for my last two years.  The football was great, & we had a pretty good team my senior year as we went 8-2. 

I remember one game against Highlands HS, and one of our backs fumbled the ball close to the sideline. It came right at Coach.  Next thing I know, the ball goes screaming back the other direction when he just kicked the "crap" out of the ball.  It landed somewhere beyond the other sidleline over the other teams bench.

In college he was not much diffent.  Driven, a mad man at times, but wanted to win more than anyone I have ever known.  He did like to party on occassion & once, I saw McManus almost single handedly clean out the Sigma NU house during a party.  It took about 5 football players an hour to convince him to leave along with another coach. 

I heard about his legal troubles on my way driving to San Antonio while in the Military.  I had to pull over to the side of the road and let what I had heard sink in.  He had a temper but I never saw anything that would make me think he was capable of what I had heard.  I could not believe it.

I lost contact with him after college, but have had only a couple of updates on him over the years. Good or bad, the man made an impact on all the players he coached.

Edited 08/16/10 08:21 AM
RE: Football, McManus, Questions, Etc.
Posted Sunday, August 29, 2010 03:22 PM

You can Google Vernon Mcmanus and read the stories- I read the cases - he and his girl conspired to kill her parents- he got convicted- I believe she rolled on him- but then he got out on a"technicality" (A/K/A the law), in the same fashion as did Ollie North- inotherwords, the government went about convicting scumbags, but didn't do it legally-he went to Vakey and a few others requesting support in his murder trial- no one wanted to have a whole lot to do with him- I had 3rd period study hall with him in my senior year- he always let us out early to have lunch- we went to the crappers in the foyer and smoked instead of eating- I think he might have really been from Vidor(just kidding- maybe)

Ted Wood

RE: Football, McManus, Questions, Etc.
Posted Sunday, August 27, 2017 02:15 PM


I know this post was from years ago but I just saw it. I went to Lamar U in Beaumont in the 70's,So did Guy. Anyway Mcmanus was assit. football coach there. He was dating ( read screwing) a girl on my floor at the dorm. He was beating her so we talked till we were blue in the face trying to get her away from him. But They were in LOVE or so​she thought. It did not surprise me 1 bit when was first arrested for murder. He was so creepy. I knew him from studyhall and drivers ed at Mac. He would follow me home from Mac trying to get me in his car. I just stayed away!

​Judy (Abramson) Stubbs