Silverton High School’s new head football coach John Mannion is first and foremost a family man.
He and his wife, Inga, who have been married 19 years, are the parents of Sean, 18; Katie, 15; Megan, 11, and Brian, 6.
It was Inga Mannion who encouraged her husband to apply for the job as head football coach at Silverton High and to make the life-changing move from Pleasanton, Calif., a city of 70,000 residents to Silverton.
“I was a bit hesitant, but after visiting Silverton and meeting the administrators at Silverton High, I became quite interested,” John Mannion said. “It seemed like a unique opportunity that may not come again… everything about it felt right.”
He will teach physical education and social studies at the high school.
The move will bring the family closer to Corvallis where Sean Mannion has committed to play football at Oregon State University this fall. He was a quarterback in high school.
John Mannion’s daughter, Katie, will be a high school junior in the fall and plays volleyball, basketball and softball.
“Katie is the backbone of our family,” John Mannion said. “She is very involved in leadership class and sports and quite involved in church activities.”
John Mannion has coached high school football in California for 22 years, 19 of which were at the varsity level. He has helped lead teams to eight league championships, four section championships, seven appearances in the sectional title game and coached the California State Shiners’ All-Star game.
“We need to be the very best at the things we can control – hustling, discipline and conditioning,” John Mannion said. “Our offense will be very balanced but flexible enough to adjust to whatever may be the strength of the team and opponents from year to year. Defense is attacking, relying on tough, relentless players.”
Mannion knows he is inheriting a team that was competitive last year and he has some talented football players returning to the line-up. He was able to meet with some of the players and coaches. Silverton High School athletic director Greg Kaatz was impressed with meeting Mannion, his interaction with players and the new coach’s leadership style and ethics.
“We were concerned at first because although John has been a coach for 22 years, he has basically one year as the sole coach in charge at the varsity level,” Kaatz said. “But in talking with him, former administrators and observing how he interacts and displays a passion for football and working with kids as students, athletes and humans, we were sold.”
Kaatz added Mannion is also “ a terrific teacher, a great family man and is a football man inside and out. His family values, demeanor and ethics that he brings to the school academically, athletically and personally made this a very easy choice.”
Mannion is a quick study, too, soon figuring out that all roads to league championships go through West Albany High School.
“I know that West Albany has been on top for the past few years but based on the scores from last season all the teams are competitive with one another,” he said of the Mid-Willamette Valley League.
He plans to host football camps to teach fundamentals and skills that will fit into the Foxes’ style of play. He also will make himself available to help the Pop Warner coaches.
He hopes by next spring that his family will be well adjusted to their new hometown and that “my passion as a hard-working teacher and coach who is passionate about education and football is obvious. I hope that the team has a season the community can be proud of.”