Carmen Manganiello

About This Inductee

In his younger days, Carmen Manganiello had a certain charisma about him. He stood for everything people respected. He was an honor student, an altar boy, a superior athlete. Manganiello was good in whatever he tried. He was at his best when he put on the St. John’s uniform. He dazzled local sports fans with his exploits on the gridiron, the basketball court, and the baseball diamond, while at St. John’s High School in the mid-40’s. He made All-Scholastic in football as a halfback and defensive back. He was leading scorer on his high school basketball team, and made All-Scholastic as a centerfielder and pitcher for the Johnnies. Manganiello won MVP in the Coal Bowl All-Star Game during high school, even though his team lost 7-0. He was a standout centerfielder on the first St. John’s baseball team, which was in a league with Duryea, Dupont, and Jenkins Twp. He played on a St. John’s football squad which attracted over   8,000 fans at its games every week. But Manganiello made the best of what he had. His efforts paid off, and he was awarded a football scholarship to Holy Cross College. For a young man coming from a poor coal mining town in post-World War II Pennsylvania, a scholarship was the chance of a lifetime. `Mat scholarship was like a godsend,” said Manganiello. “My parents couldn’t afford to send me to college.” As a Crusader gridder, Manganiello found a home in the Holy Cross defensive backfield. There, he established himself as one of the best. Besides being an awesome tackler, Manganiello led the Crusaders in interceptions his senior year. But football wasn’t his only love. Manganiello was a sharpshooter on the basketball court, and he decided to try his skills on the college cage team. His dreams of hoop stardom soon faded, however, when he saw a man by the name of Bob Cousy—then a varsity basketball player for Holy Cross—dazzle crowds with his basketball talent. “He (Cousy) was a magician with a basketball,” noted Manganiello. “He convinced me that basketball wasn’t for me.” After he graduated from Holy Cross, Manganiello became one of the many thousands of young American males affected by the “Forgotten War” being fought in Korea in the early 1950’s. Once he was discharged from the service, Manganiello came back to northeastern Pennsylvania to work for an independent insurance adjusting firm. He then accepted a position with State Farm Insurance Co., where he has worked for the past thirty-two years. Looking back on his athletic career, Manganiello feels that his sports experience has helped him a lot in his personal and professional endeavors. “Sports have given me a more positive attitude,” he noted. “It makes me more competitive.”