Philadelphia High School Football
Pat Manzi's Career as Bishop McDevitt's Coach
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On Feb. 6, 2016, Pat was the lone inductee into McDevitt's Football Hall of Fame.
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On Jan. 15, 2016, Pat Manzi announced his retirement after 33 seasons as the football coach at Bishop McDevitt High, in Wyncote, Pennsylvania.
PAT MANZI'S RECORD
"Tuesday night," Arnold said, " Coach (Pat) Manzi went to a meeting on the playoffs at Judge and he heard some comments about the game from Judge football parents. Somebody said McDevitt didn't deserve to be on the same field with Judge."
There was no need for the speaker in question to get ruthless about it, but he made an apparently valid point at the time.
Judge, the defending champion, was 8-0 in the regular season to earn its fifth playoff berth since 1975. It also won seven of the games by 23 points or more.
McDevitt was 3-3-2 to earn its first playoff berth since joining the league in '63.
Judge 28, McDevitt 0. That was the final in the teams' first meeting.
McDevitt 10, Judge 0. That was Saturday's final.
"Not really," said Pat Manzi, when he was asked if he could recall an upset of similar proportions.
No one else could recall one, either, until someone mentioned the iceberg's victory over the Titanic.
"A 28-point loss is a 28-point loss," said Manzi, who celebrated his 11th wedding anniversary with his wife, Cathy, Saturday. " But our kids came away from the first game with the feeling that we gave Judge a physical battle, that things would have been visibly different if we had gotten some breaks.
"Our defense has been as aggressive as anyone's. We wanted to shut them down a little, at least, and take our chances from there. We respected Judge. We weren't in awe of them."
Afterward, the opposite was basically true because numerous members of Judge's staff mentioned that McDevitt had "kicked butt."
"I waited for a big play to get us moving," said Coach John "Whitey" Sullivan. "We never got one. They didn't let us."
The 6-4, 220-pound Arnold made 20 tackles, including 12 solos, and his partner in havoc- wreaking, 6-4 1/2 , 252-pound Chris Conlin, made 15 and eight. That hardly meant, though, that there weren't tackles left over for linebackers Mike Anderson and Mike Anderson.
Michael Stephen, No. 15 in your program, made 21 and 11. Michael Sean, No. 54, made 11 and six.
"Guys like 'Lurch' and 'Buckwheat' ( Arnold and Conlin ) make it a pleasure to play linebacker," Michael Stephen said. "They attract the attention. Occasionally, no one comes out to block me because those guys are so tough to handle. They're great. Tell me they're not going to be pros."
"Judge supposedly has the best offensive line in the league," Arnold said. "We figured they would block us one-on-one and that was to our advantage. The teams that double-team us seem to give us trouble. We can stop things up, but we can't make as many hits."
Meanwhile, Arnold's hit caused a fumble at the McDevitt 7 on the first play of the second quarter (recovery to Michael Stephen Anderson); five plays later, Matt Kolen passed over the middle to tight end Pat Lawn for a 57-yard score.
John Moran's 31-yard field goal, which occurred four plays after halftime, was set up when spunky safety Brian McNamara motored 72 yards with the kickoff.
Judge immediately marched close enough for Danny Ellis to miss a 38-yard field goal, but mounted no threats thereafter.
The Crusaders had scored in 32 consecutive games; also in 97 of 98 dating back to the final league game of '74.
"Brian's kickoff return was the play of the day," Michael Stephen said. "Judge was ready to come right at our throats. That showed them we were still going to go at them , too. We felt we were capable of winning. We had the coaching, and the coaches made us believe that we had the players."
What McDevitt has now, is a Dec. 7 game at the Vet against Cardinal Dougherty. For the division title, no less.
No one better say that the Lancers don't belong on the field.
This story was published in the Daily News on Jan. 16, 2016
MANZI TO STEP DOWN AS FOOTBALL COACH AT McDEVITT
By Aaron Carter
Gerry Fasano had a sneaking suspicion that last season would be the final campaign for Bishop McDevitt football coach Pat Manzi.
For years, Fasano, who runs the school's athletic Hall of Fame, urged Manzi to accept induction. But the winningest football coach in school history always politely declined.
Last spring, Manzi finally accepted.
"Pat is McDevitt football," said Fasano, who played on Manzi's first McDevitt squad in 1982 and later coached under Manzi.
"He's a very humble guy," Fasano said. "He's always been about his assistants and his players. He stayed out of the limelight remarkably well."
Friday afternoon, Manzi, who led the Lancers for 33 seasons, announced his retirement as the school's football coach. He will continue as the school's athletic director and as a history teacher. A search for the school's new coach will begin.
Manzi's final record at McDevitt was 189-151-5, the second-most wins in Catholic League history behind only Whitey Sullivan's 196 at Father Judge. Manzi also won three Catholic League championships, in 1986, 1987, and 1999.
"It was a wonderful experience, and I would certainly do it all over again," Manzi said. "I don't have any regrets whatsoever. It was an honor and a privilege coaching some pretty outstanding young men all those years. And I've had great assistant coaches, which has really made the difference."
Manzi took over during a tenuous time for the program, in 1982. The Lancers hadn't competed well in the Catholic League, and rumors swirled about the program's impending collapse.
"When I was interviewing for the job, there was strong talk about dropping the program here," Manzi said. "I said to myself, 'What did I walk into?'"
In his inaugural season, however, McDevitt upset undefeated regular-season champion Father Judge, Manzi's alma mater, 10-0, in the quarterfinals of the Catholic League playoffs.
It was McDevitt's first trip to the playoffs in its 20-year history.
"I think that set everything in motion," said Manzi, who also coached wrestling at North Catholic from 1974 to 1989. "I think we were fortunate that kids bought into the program, and I think it just took off from there."
Last season, Manzi led the Lancers (7-7, 1-3) to their first-ever state playoff win, a 35-19 first-round triumph against District 11 Marian Catholic.
"The first team to ever win a state playoff game and a Catholic League playoff game," Fasano said. "To me, he bookended his career."
On Feb. 6 at Williamson's Restaurant in Horsham, Manzi is to finally be inducted into McDevitt's hall of fame.
"Should be our most crowded banquet ever," Fasano said.
"He's been a father figure to a number of guys," he said. "He's been a good friend to many of his players. He doesn't forget a player, a team, or a play."
RECAPS OF CHAMPIONSHIP WINS . . .
CATHOLIC LEAGUE, OVERALL
At Villanova Stadium
McDevitt 20, O'Hara 0
Brian Quigg (eight tackles), Scott Young (seven) and Fran
Lorenzo (two interceptions) spearheaded the defense as McDevitt
completed a 12-0 season on the field and recorded only the second
shutout in the 24-year history of scheduled title games. Mike Thomas ran
for two TDs and Andrew Brown gained 106 yards on 18 carries. The Lancers
finished 9-3 officially, forfeiting three league games for using an
ineligible player. O'Hara, averaging 24.4 points going in, suffered only
its seventh shutout in 10 seasons. Chris Morrell managed five catches
for 60 yards.
CATHOLIC LEAGUE, OVERALL
At Villanova Stadium
McDevitt 14, St. James 0
Dan Taylor passed 8-for-16 for 92 yards and a TD to Kevin Howard
(4-55) as McDevitt ran its two-season, on-field record to 23-0. Jason
Hannings (20-67) and Kevin Blackstock (8-47, TD) handled the rushing.
The Lancers posted an 86-26 scoring advantage in the playoffs and 330-90
overall. For St. James, Marcas Bradley was held to 27 yards on 11
carries, but finished his career with 682 carries for 3,108 yards and 34
TDs (37 overall).
CATHOLIC LEAGUE, BLUE DIVISION
McDevitt 14, Carroll 10
Mike Hagarty passed 6-for-13 for 94 yards and a 30-yard,
first-quarter TD to Rob Clift and engineered a 59-yard, 13-play drive
that produced Tom Vesey's winning 1-yard TD with 2:34 remaining. The
Lancers converted three consecutive third-down plays during the drive.
Carroll had taken a 10-7 lead with 11:06 left on Marty Higgins's ninth
field goal of the season. Dan Maha (fumble recovery) and Dave Melcher
(interception) made sure Carroll's final two possessions would be
CITY TITLE, CLASS A
At Northwest Super Site
McDevitt 50, KIPP DuBois 12
With Max Bryson not quite ready to return from injury, receiver Dontae
Mason remained at quarterback and had a terrific performance. He passed
8-for-13 for 178 yards and three TDs -- two to Jaron Macon (3-85) -- and
turned seven carries into 81 yards and another score. Vincent DiLeo posted
one TD apiece via rushing/receiving along with 109 yards. Jayvonne
Campfield scored on a fumble return. The Lancers were coached by
long-time boss Pat Manzi, who'd missed the 2014 season due to health issues.
Two days earlier, the school had won the Class A City Title in soccer. For
KDB, the highlight was Brian Jones' 62-yard score with an interception.
Your comments on Pat Manzi . . .
While the career accomplishments in terms of wins, championships, All-Catholic players coached, Coach of the Year Awards, etc are all impressive, the one thing that I will most remember about Coach Manzi is that he brought to McDevitt and its program a sense of pride that had not been present before his tenure. He instilled that sense of pride in both the individual players and in the team and that is why all those great McDevitt teams truly played for one another out on the field. I was certainly a better football player for having been coached by him but more importantly, I know that I am a better father, husband, friend and professional because of what I learned from him and his staff.
-- Mark Dianno (Class of '86)
As a McDevitt Sophomore, I stood at the edge of Villanova Stadium’s field in 1982, counting down the seconds when we could hop that fence and celebrate an unlikely victory over Father Judge. In many ways, that victory ushered in a new era – not only for Bishop McDevitt Football but for the school.
Gone were the years where we considered “second rate” to our neighbors of Cardinal Dougherty, Father Judge, North Catholic and Archbishop Wood. We became the place to be – the team that was favored.
I say it often to current and former McDevitt students – there is a reason we are called “Royal Lancers”. Some very special people have walked the halls of Royal Avenue. Pat Manzi is not only one of them but responsible for a tradition of excellence in 30+ years of McDevitt student athletes.
Best of luck Coach!
Beth A. Armbruster ‘85
President – Bishop McDevitt Alumni Association
Pat Manzi means so much to so many young men it is hard to capture it in words. He has been the face of McDevitt football to outsiders but to those of us insiders we know he is so much more. He's been our coach, our teacher, our counselor, our disciplinarian, our protector, our friend. He had some great seasons and some average ones too but his teams were always fighters - taking on bigger schools and opponents without question and with a confidence that not only do they belong on the same field but that they should win. Many times the scoreboard showed they won the game but even in defeat they knew they gave it their all -- that's what Coach Manzi asks for and expects from every player on every play. His 192 wins (yes Ted, every one who wears black and gold knows we went 12-0 on the field in 1986!) make him 2nd all time in wins but he will always be number one to us. Please come out and celebrate Pat on Saturday February 6th at Williamson's. Tickets are only $25, payable to McDevitt and reserved by calling 215-884-5911.
-- Gerry Fasano, '82 team ... The team that started it all!