Relatives of the late Leon Manley, a longtime educator, coach and public school administrator, honored his legacy recently with the creation of an endowed scholarship at Tarleton State University that will benefit students in the College of Education and those pursuing a teaching career.
Manley’s career educating Texas public school students spanned nearly four decades, culminating as principal of Stephenville High School before he retired in 1993. His descendants gathered at the Trogdon House on May 2, along with Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio, to establish the Leon Manley Memorial Endowment. It will provide a scholarship in his memory each academic year.
Manley implemented a dual-credit program for high school students to earn college credit, and he initiated the Renaissance Program and Project Graduation at Stephenville High School. A civic-minded individual and longtime Stephenville resident, he served his community with the Lions Club, United Way, Chamber of Commerce board and various other organizations.
Born Sept. 14, 1937, Manley attended Abernathy High School and graduated from West Texas State University, now West Texas A&M, in 1960. He launched his mathematics teaching and coaching career at Lamesa followed by stints in Gainesville and Denison before being named head coach and athletic director at Olney ISD in 1970.
During that time he continued his education and earned his master’s from East Texas State University, now Texas A&M-Commerce, and later, in 1982, an administrative certification from Tarleton.
In fall 1973 he was hired as head football coach and athletic director by the Stephenville ISD; he also taught math at the high school. For nearly 10 years he led the Yellow Jackets on the gridiron before being named assistant superintendent in 1982 — a position he held for four years prior to becoming principal in 1986.
During his 35 years in public education, Manley also served on the board of the Texas High School Coaches Association. He was inducted into the Academic Hall of Fame at Stephenville High School.