Claude Manzi

Claude Manzi

(1919-1994)

Claude Manzi

The first football coach at Smith High School in 1963, Claude Manzi built a program that turned out the likes of future NFL players Vince Evans, Joe Bostic and Jeff Bostic. Manzi’s teams ran the single wing offense well into the 1970s. Manzi coached 15 years compiling a record of 90-11-6 and advancing to the state playoffs four times and winning eight city championships. In 1973, Manzi’s Eagles played in the 4-A State Championship Game against Sanford. He served as Athletic Director from 1977-88. The football stadium at Smith was named in his honor in 1984. Manzi was a graduate of Elon, where he played football and named Little All-American, Most Valuable Player, and All-Conference Guard in 1946. Manzi was instrumental in the formation of the North Carolina Coaches Association and served as the Executive Secretary. Manzi was a decorated veteran of World War II and participated in the D-Day invasion at Normandy.

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