For the first time since 2000, the Southern University athletic department is in the market for a sports information director.
Kevin Manns, a fixture at SU for the past 11 years as the school’s SID, announced he is leaving Baton Rouge “to pursue another opportunity in the next few weeks.”
Manns said on his Facebook page he’ll soon take over as assistant athletic director for media relations at Winston-Salem State.
A native of West Virginia and a former cornerback at Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., Manns previously served as SID at Winston-Salem State from 1993-96, then spent four years at Alabama State from 1996-2000. From there, he moved to Southern.
During Manns’ tenure in Baton Rouge, Southern claimed one Southwestern Athletic Conference title in football (2003), one title in men’s basketball (2006), five titles in women’s basketball (2002, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2011) and five titles in baseball (2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2009).
Manns’ work hasn’t been all fun, however. In 2002, he underwent surgery to remove a cyst from his ankle, and he spent part of that football season working on crutches.
On Jan. 4, Manns suffered a heart attack while working an SU basketball game, but didn’t know it until later. He was back at work before long, and since then, Manns has become a vegetarian.
Manns worked the 2010-11 season as the only SID at Southern after assistant sports information director Brandon Willis left to take over at Alabama A&M.
“I have truly enjoyed my 15 years in the SWAC, and will cherish the time forever,” Manns said.
“But it also comes a time when one must think what is best for them and their family.”
Manns’ announcement came less than a month after the SWAC named him its Jefferson-Nicholson-Prophet Sports Information Director of the Year. It was the second time in the past three years Manns earned the award, which is named after three of the conference’s legendary SIDs - Sam Jefferson (Jackson State), Collie Nicholson (Grambling) and Chuck Prophet (Mississippi Valley State).