OMAHA, Neb. -- Creighton has learned the sad news this evening that former Bluejay head men's basketball coach John J. "Red" McManus has passed away. McManus was 88.
McManus was head coach of Creighton's men's basketball team as it rose to national prominence from 1959-69, including NCAA Tournament bids in 1962 and 1964. He led the program to a 138-118 mark on the sideline, and was a 1979 inductee into the Creighton Athletics Hall of Fame.
Among the players McManus coached were Paul Silas and Bob Portman. It was during his tenure that Creighton began playing all its home contests at the Omaha Civic Auditorium. When the University played its final regular-season game at the Civic in 2003, it was McManus at center stage as he flipped the switch to "turn out the lights" in postgame festivities.
He remained close to the program, continuing to make several road trips a year with the team, and was still referred to as "Coach" by recent Creighton men's basketball mentors Dana Altman and Greg McDermott. In 2012, McDermott invited McManus to practice for his 87th birthday, where the team serenaded him with "Happy Birthday".
"Red McManus will be remembered as one of the greatest Bluejays of all-time," said Creighton Director of Athletics Bruce Rasmussen. "His passion for life is something we'll cherish with fondness as we remember all that he did within the Omaha community and for Creighton."
Information on his funeral services can be found at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/omaha/obituary.aspx?n=john-j-mcmanus-red&pid=166018397&fhid=7335
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of former Creighton men's basketball coach John J. "Red" McManus. http://t.co/ZiEtUTD28W— Creighton Basketball (@BluejayMBB) July 24, 2013
RIP Red McManus. Ex-basketball coach at Creighton passed away. A great coach and very nice person. Always had time for a story.— Tom Lilly (@jaystennis) July 24, 2013
RIP Red McManus. A true basketball man that had a passion for people, life, basketball, and Creighton U. Great man/coach, he will be missed.— Kevin McKenna (@coachkmc3) July 24, 2013
R.I.P. Coach Red McManus. True Creighton legend. Great coach. Great man.— Nick Bahe (@NickBahe) July 24, 2013
RIP John J. "Red" McManus. A great man with tremendous passion for Creighton. Thoughts and prayers to Mary Jean and the McManus family.— Kevin Sarver (@KASarver) July 24, 2013
Sad to hear about Red McManus..a legend that will never be forgotten. #Rip— Doug McDermott (@dougmcd3) July 24, 2013
RIP Coach Red. Big part of Creighton basketball. Sad day— Grant Gibbs (@DoubleGfor3) July 24, 2013
Heavens basketball team just got a great coach, well miss you Coach McManus— Douglas J Ramos (@creightondoc) July 24, 2013
RIP Coach Red McManus. Former Coach at my Alma Mater Creighton. Got to know him when I played. Great guy and fiery competitor. CU Legend!— Porter Moser (@PorterMoser) July 24, 2013
How do you start or finish ANY conversation about Creighton Basketball and not include the name Red McManus?— Jim Rose (@Jimrosehuskers) July 24, 2013
I'll always remember having Coach McManus and his stories. Best story ever: Him/Creighton recruiting Duke HC Mike Krzyzewski vs Bob Knight.— Brian Kooienga (@BrianKooienga) July 24, 2013