Twin Lakes head football coach Scott Mannering retired from coaching Monday.
“Twin Lakes football would like to thank Scott Mannering for his 4 years of coaching at our great school,” read a statement from the Twin Lakes’ football Twitter account. “When you get a #HOF coach, it is a special thing. He will be greatly missed and we wish him the best in retirement.”
Mannering, in his mid-60s, went 18-26 in four seasons guiding the Indians. He previously spent 30 seasons as coaching at Lewis Cass. He left the Kings with a record of 223-109, along with guiding them to seven sectional championships, four regional championships and one semi-state championship.
His final record was 241-135. Attempts to reach Mannering were unsuccessful as of press time.
“He was the consummate professional in all that he did,” Twin Lakes Athletic Director Kent Adams said Tuesday. “He was an excellent classroom teacher, which you would expect because he was an extremely detailed and organized football coach. Nothing was left to chance.”
Mannering guided Cass to the 2008 2A state title game, where it lost 17-14 to Heritage Christian. From 2003-2008, Cass won at least 10 games each season, compiling a 67-10 record with four semi-state appearances. Prior to his second season with the Indians, Mannering was inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame.
“It’s pretty neat. It’s something you don’t really think about that will ever happen and when it does, the special thing I guess is you’re nominated and approved by your peers in your profession, which it’s just kind of a cool thing,” Mannering told the Kokomo Tribune in July 2017. “And the fact that I’ve been able to stay in it as long as I have with so many kids who have played with me and coaches who have come and gone, it just makes it really special. It’s a tremendous honor for me.”
Adams selected Mannering to lead the program in April 2016, and told the Herald Journal at the time, “Mannering’s ability to teach his athletes life lessons was even more important” than his record and success.
“We were looking for a guy who had experience in being a leader of young men in a positive manner,” Adams added.
Multiple seniors echoed that sentiment Monday and Tuesday.
“Coach was a man that you could always count on if you needed a reference, letter of recommendation, anything,” wide receiver Dylan Farmer said Monday. “He always had the best jokes if you were upset about something, he always made sure that you knew you mattered not only on the football team, but life in general, and he always made sure that he got the best out of us.”
Added Hunter Coble, “Coach Mannering was so much more than just a football coach. Coach helped me become more of a man outside of the game of football.”
Mannering was the freshman physical education teacher for the current senior class, and shepherded it through the program and high school.
“I’m happy for him and thankful for every story he has told us after our Thursday practices because they really change your perspective on life, and he’s taught me some valuable lessons I’ll never forget,” guard and linebacker Kaleb Roth said. “I’m apologetic for next year’s seniors because it is a very unfortunate thing to lose the coach you’ve had every year up until your senior year. It’s sad to know that coach Mannering’s wisdom will no longer be passed on after the next few classes are gone.”
The Indians reached the Section 28 championship in 2016 despite going 4-8 overall, and scored 83 points in their three playoff games. For the first three seasons under Mannering, Twin Lakes ran into fellow Hoosier Conference buzzsaw in West Lafayette at some point in the sectional — in the second round (2017-18) or title game (2016).
Twin Lakes lost to Knox, 36-7, in Section 25’s second round this season. The Indians went 5-4 in the playoffs under Mannering.
“He taught us hard work by pushing us harder and harder even during the offseason,” quarterback Danny Bennett said after throwing for more than 1,000 yards and 18 touchdowns in Mannering’s Wing-T system. “I’m glad I got to spend my football career under Coach Mannering. … I just hope I can express my gratitude to him for giving a short, stocky transfer from Illinois a chance to be a quarterback like I always dreamed to be.”
The system racked up 2,500-plus rush yards and 16 touchdowns this season, and 3,200-plus rush yards and 37 scores last season. Per game, the rush attack averaged 294-plus yards in 2018 and 250-plus in 2019.
Much of the 2018 production came from now-Olivet Nazarene running back Zion Cosgray (1,267 yards, 12 touchdowns in two varsity seasons) and Kaleb Cauble (1,182 yards, 15 touchdowns in three seasons).
Seniors Jase Greear (686 yards), Jacob Milligan (468) and Anthony Pulliam (376) combined for 1,500-plus yards in 2019, while Jaylen Roush (436) and Caden Harker (276) also broke 275 yards rushing.
“He was a team player in terms of supporting the entire school and athletic department,” Adams said. “It is evident that these are reasons he head the success throughout his coaching career and ended up in the Hall of Fame.”
Adams will set up a search committee soon and had no other timeline or details are available at press time.