By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Coach keeps his bond with players
Ex-N.C. State coach happy to help with Manior's camp
A missed tackle - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue

As Greg Manior looked across the South Effingham High School football practice field at the dozens of kids running, catching and eluding each other, he had plenty of volunteer help.

Manior’s coaching ranks for the Mini Mustang camp included members of his own staff, several of the Mustang senior football players pressed into duty and some of his own links to his playing days at North Carolina State University — his former roommate, ex-NFLer Sebastian Savage, and his former coach, Dick Sheridan.

This week is the third time Sheridan has come to help Manior with his summer kids football camp.

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for the kids to get introduced to football,” Sheridan said.

Sheridan endured only two losing seasons in 15 years as a head coach. He led the Furman Paladins to the 1985 I-AA national championship game, where they fell 44-42 to Georgia Southern. At Furman, he won six Southern Conference championships and beat N.C. State twice.

He left Furman after the ’85 season to lead N.C. State and led the Wolfpack to six bowl games. He stepped down before the 1993 season, citing health reasons. His 52 wins are second-most in Wolfpack coaching annals.

But for a few days in June, he’s back on the field with prospective football players born well after he coached his last game.

There are 92 kids at the Mini Mustang camp, coming from all over Effingham and some parts of Chatham.

“It’s all about fundamentals,” Manior said, “but it’s all about having fun, too. We’re trying to get kids fired up for football and trying to teach them football the right way.”

Having his former coach come down and get back on the field with the kids was easy, given Sheridan’s respect for Manior and what he’s done.

“That’s one of the very best things about coaching, the relationships you develop,” Sheridan said. “I’m very proud of Greg and the job he’s done. He’s such a good role model and a good coach. But more importantly, he’s a good role model.”

Savage was an all-ACC cornerback at N.C. State and now works for IBM in Atlanta. When Sheridan hit the recruiting trail at Furman and for the Wolfpack, he went with players such as Manior and his former roomie in mind.

“They are indicative of the caliber of people we wanted to recruit, their character, and they were good students,” he said. “Those attributes help you form those kinds of bonds. They know they can count on each other.”

Many of Sheridan’s former players at Furman and N.C. State live in the metro Atlanta area, and he would like to see them get together.

How much of Sheridan’s philosophy and style rubbed off Manior, he’s not sure, though Sheridan hopes some of it did.

“He’s doing it his own way, with his own personality,” he said.

Manior’s even recruited former Mustangs players, including star running back Keith Glover, to lend a hand.

“The coaches look forward to it, like I do,” he said. “The seniors who work like to volunteer their time and give something back.

“It’s a good group of guys and a lot of football knowledge.”