Pat Manzi, Head Coach at Bishop McDevit High School since 1982 has announced he is stepping down effective immediately.
Manzi compiled a 189-151-5 record at the Wyncote school. The 189 wins is second to former Father Judge Coach Whitey Sullivan’s 196 in the Philadelphia Catholic League.
Manzi will remain as AD and will continue as a History Teacher at the school.
A possible successor to Manzi is current Offensive Coordinator and former LaSalle College High School Coach Drew Gordon.
I first became aware of Coach Manzi when I was a student at Northeast Catholic. Mr. Manzi was a teacher at North. At the time he was an Assistant Coach at Bishop Egan under former North Coach Bill Travers.
I didn’t formally meet Pat Manzi until years later when I started doing the film for Neumann-Goretti football. It was just a few years ago and I made it a point to introduce myself when Neumann was playing McDevit at Cheltenham HS, Mcdevit’s home field. I had heard so much about the man that I had to actually meet him.
It was Pat Manzi who paved the road for North’s wrestling program to become the powerhouse it was to be before North closed it’s doors in 2010.
Manzi took over the reigns to McDevit’s football program in 1982 and promptly led the Catholic League’s perennial doormat to the playoffs and shocking Sullivan and the Father Judge Crusaders in the Quarterfinals 10-0
Manzi led the Lancers to three Catholic League Championships in 1986, 1987 and 1999. The Lancers beat Kipp DuBois in the Class A District 12/1 Subregional and then Defeated Jenkintown in the District 12/1 Semifinals racking up 50 points vs Kipp and 51 against Jenkintown. They then went on to defeat Delco Christian 21-9 in the Subregional Final before finally losing to Old Forge 51-7 in the PIAA Class A Quarterfinals.
It was at the Jenkintown game that I last talked to Coach Manzi. I kind of had the feeling that he was enjoying their run in the playoffs. He didn’t seem to have that tenseness that most coaches have before a big game. It was like win or lose he was going to enjoy it. He apparently had already made up his mind and that changed his perspective on the game.
Mr Manzi (I never quite knew how to address him due to my status as a student and his as a teacher when I first became aware of him) went through a brush with death when he was sidelined last year due to gall bladder surgery that all of a sudden became a life and death procedure due to complications. He had conveyed to me how serious the situation was last year before McDevit played Neumann-Goretti.
In another development regarding Manzi, he will finally be inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame after years of declining the invitation. The banquet will be held at Williamson’s restaurant on February 6th at 6pm. I can only imagine how hard it will be to score tickets to the event.