Manchester's Jim France Retires

TopCat

Active member
Great coach and leader. He will be missed. Time to hire the fourth coach in panther history.
The new coach will actually be the fifth. Joe Demaree was Manchester's first coach from 1941 to 1945, however the 1941 team was only a JV squad since Manchester Schools had just opened. Demaree coached until the legendary Lester "Swede" Olsson took over in 1946. Olsson coached until 1970, with his teams winning 60% of their games. Jim France took over in 1971, with one year off in 1985 when he became principal at the high school. That's when Tom Flaherty was brought in. He went 2-8 in just his only season. Coach France came back in 1986 and has coached ever since. None of his Manchester teams ever had a losing record. Overall, since 1942, Manchester has close to a 70 percent winning record. It's a great tradition. It'll be interesting who will be selected to carry it on.
 
Last edited:

buckeye53

Active member
What a great career. Can’t imagine how many kids this man influenced in a positive way. I’m sure he will be greatly missed. Congrats Coach.
 

Stizostedion

Active member
Time for me to gift you with my wisdom and knowledge. Here is what I heard about a possible replacement. Jay Brophy is the only one on the current staff who will be considered. Four other names have surfaced about having an interest or Manchester having an interest in them. Do you want to know who they are? Of course you do. Cody Reese from East Knox. Scott Spitler from Lucas. Matt Land from Dalton. Trevor Cline from Hillsdale. Land and Cline would be longshots to leave jobs at their alma maters. There are a few others but I have not gotten their names yet. The Manchester job should be very attractive with a new school and stadium on the horizon. Manchester simply needs to embrace its open enrollment advantage.
 

SpeedSafety25

New member
The Manchester job needs to go to a guy who sees his career summed up and fulfilled in taking this job. His eye can't be on advancement but wanting to thrive in a small community, becoming part of it, with no aspirations beyond it. The two coaches prior (Olson and France) viewed the role this way. There's a certain sweetness in acknowledging the small sacredness of the role and it's tradition.
 

Rolly67

Active member
Something about that school brings commitment and longevity. Rex Lingruen played for Olson, graduating in 68. Lingruen went on to teach at Liberty Center for around 40 years and coached football from 1985-2016 with 253 wins ending up 22nd on the Ohio-only coaching wins list.
 

Youngguy

Active member
Time for me to gift you with my wisdom and knowledge. Here is what I heard about a possible replacement. Jay Brophy is the only one on the current staff who will be considered. Four other names have surfaced about having an interest or Manchester having an interest in them. Do you want to know who they are? Of course you do. Cody Reese from East Knox. Scott Spitler from Lucas. Matt Land from Dalton. Trevor Cline from Hillsdale. Land and Cline would be longshots to leave jobs at their alma maters. There are a few others but I have not gotten their names yet. The Manchester job should be very attractive with a new school and stadium on the horizon. Manchester simply needs to embrace its open enrollment advantage.
stizo, rumor last year was Brophy wasn't interested and that Jividen was in the running. Now that Forret isn't coming back (according to article), Brophy may have changed his mind. Jividen has some HS experience at Akron North. They have a couple young coaches who the players like, but that won't happen.
 

Stizostedion

Active member
stizo, rumor last year was Brophy wasn't interested and that Jividen was in the running. Now that Forret isn't coming back (according to article), Brophy may have changed his mind. Jividen has some HS experience at Akron North. They have a couple young coaches who the players like, but that won't happen.
The Board thing is an issue for Jividen and a lack of head coach experience. It is Brophy's job if he wants it. He and Forret were never on the same page or even in the same book. I also hear that some in Manchester like the guy from East Knox but he comes with some baggage over some school prayer thing that he was involved in.
 

Youngguy

Active member
The Board thing is an issue for Jividen and a lack of head coach experience. It is Brophy's job if he wants it. He and Forret were never on the same page or even in the same book. I also hear that some in Manchester like the guy from East Knox but he comes with some baggage over some school prayer thing that he was involved in.
stitzo, the Board thing should be a deterrent, but who knows out here. I have heard that an ex-college coach may be interested. He lives in the Lakes and wants to coach nearby. I heard this in a casual conversation with a friend of his. Also, an ex-assistant from Chippewa with Manchester ties may be interested.
 

Grendel

Member
Clean house and start completely new. Bring someone in with no ties to school or area. But I don't see that happening. They will hire someone with ties and it will be a train wreck. Manchester doesn't look at the "big" picture most of the time!
 

Henry37

Active member
Given the timing and all that's going on for schools, it's hard to imagine there's been any real movement on who is or might be next in line. But whether there are actually 3 people who might know what/who they want, or 6 people, or 60 people, or even 300 people...I can assure you all that Stiz is not one of them.
 
.
Top