I can still hear the cheer, “Listen my children and you will hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere; riding down the alleys and up the streets yelling, “Colbert Indians can’t be beat. La de da, Colbert Indians can’t be beat.” Can you hear it, too?
Those were carefree days at Colbert County High School in Leighton. Those were the days of Coach Manley and Mr. Holland. But C. T. Manley was there before me and long after I had gone from the halls at CCHS. He was a great man and a greater coach, but his best legacy remains the character building he instilled in all those students who knew him.
Charles Thomas Manley was born 25 Jun 1916 in Town Creek, Lawrence County, Alabama, likely at Red Bank. He was the child of John Henry “Bud” Manley (1894 – 1975) and Annie Elizabeth Green Manley (1898 – 1975). No one called him any other than C. T. Manley or Coach Manley; at least to my knowledge. His obituary appearing in the Times Daily newspaper issued 3 Jan 2008 follows:
CPL US ARMY WWII
Charles was the spouse of Joyce LeMay Manley.
Coach C.T. Manley, 91, of Leighton, died Dec. 31, 2007.
The funeral service will be Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008, at the Colbert County High School gym. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m., and the family will arrive at noon. The service will begin at 1 p.m. in the gym, with burial following in Elmwood
Cemetery, Town Creek.
Ministers Charles James and Melvin Mordecai will officiate. Speaker will be sportscaster Jerry Knight.
Mr. Manley was preceded in death by his father, John Henry Manley; mother, Annie Elizabeth Green; brother, John Manley; sister, Emma Bell McConell; mother-in-law, Luda Donaldson LeMay; and father-in-law, William Ralph LeMay.
He was a member of Hatton Baptist Church. He was a World War II veteran, participating in the Battle of the Bulge.
Survivors include his wife, Joyce L. Manley; son, Charles Thomas Manley Jr.; brother, Jack Manley; and sister, Margaret Young.
He was an athletic director and coach at Colbert County High School, Muscle Shoals High School and Red Bay High School. He coached at Southeast Louisiana VMI and Mississippi State. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Southeast Louisiana, Alabama High School, Colbert County High School and Lawrence County High School.
C.T. Manley Memorial Scholarship, to be awarded annually to a Colbert County student on the basis of academic merit and participation in the athletic program. Memorials may be made to Bank Independent, Attn: Teresa Flannagan, P.O. Box 5000, Sheffield, AL 35660.
Pallbearers will be Wayne Peebles, Jackie Gargis, Paul Johnson, McCoy Underwood, Kim Isbell and Ken Arnold.
Honorary pallbearers will be all former coaches and football players.
Colbert Memorial Chapel of the Shoals is directing.
TIMES DAILY – January 3, 2008
His siblings were Emma B Manley McConnell(1920 – ); John Henry Manley (1923 – 1993); and Margaret Ann Manley Young (1926 – 2007). Coach Manley’s grandparents were Thomas Henry Manley(1872 – 1954) and Ida Greeley Belle McGregor (1875 – 1963).
The Times Daily newspaper honored him with an article in 2004. C.T. Manley: Colbert County coaching legend
DANIEL GILES/TimesDailyFormer Colbert County coaches Don Creasy (left) and C.T. Manley.
Published: Monday, August 30, 2004 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, August 29, 2004 at 11:00 p.m.
Any discussion of the all-time great high school football coaches in north Alabama usually begins with the same name.
That name is synonymous with high school football in our area. That name is C.T. Manley.
It has been more than 20 years since Manley last coached a football game and more than 25 years since he coached at Colbert County High School.
All the current kids who play in the stadium named for Manley were born after he retired. Most of the visiting players only know of Manley as the name on the stadium.
Manley’s legacy, however, is more than just the name on that stadium. His legacy is the proud tradition of Colbert County football.
That tradition was on display Friday night as Colbert County honored its former coaching greats. Don Creasy and the late Jimmy Moore — two other legendary coaches at Colbert County — were also honored.
Manley, 88, has been pretty much confined to a wheelchair since hurting his hip in a fall a year and a half ago. He did not let that prevent him from attending Friday’s ceremony, however.
“This is the first game we’ve been to since he got hurt,” said Manley’s wife, Joyce. “He is in a lot of pain, so he can’t do a lot of the things he used to enjoy. He reads, and he enjoys watching the Braves play on TV, but he doesn’t get out too much.”
Manley began coaching at Colbert County in 1954 and quickly established the Indians as one of the top teams in north Alabama. He coached several great teams, and his 1972 state championship team is generally considered the best ever in north Alabama.
That squad was filled with great players, including Ozzie Newsome, Phil Gargis and Thad Flannagan.
Manley coached 24 years at Colbert County before finishing his coaching career at Muscle Shoals. He proved he could succeed at somewhere besides Colbert County by leading Muscle Shoals to its best season ever in 1979.
In his 24 years at Colbert County, Manley posted a record of 171-78-7. In addition to the state championship in 1972, the Indians were the Class 3A runner-up in 1967.
Manley admitted that coming back to watch Colbert County brought back a lot of great memories for him.
“I can’t do too much anymore, but I still enjoy watching football when I can,” he said. “I coached a lot of games on this field and have a lot of great memories from them. This program has come a long way over the years.”
Although Manley is modest about talking about what he has meant to the Colbert County program, others are quick to talk about his legacy.
“Coach Manley is the cornerstone of the whole program,” Colbert County coach Steve Mask said. “The people here love him so much, and I have so much respect for him. I’m just honored to coach at the same school as C.T. Manley.”
“Where Are They Now” is a weekly feature of the TimesDaily. This week’s installment was written by Assistant Sports Editor Jeff McIntyre. He can be reached at 740-5737 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charles T Manley’s Enlistment information for World War II follows:
|Name:||Charles T Manley|
|Race:||White, Citizen (White)|
|Nativity State or Country:||Alabama|
|State of Residence:||Alabama|
|County or City:||Lawrence|
|Enlistment Date:||14 Nov 1942|
|Enlistment City:||New Orleans|
|Branch:||Branch Immaterial – Warrant Officers, USA|
|Branch Code:||Branch Immaterial – Warrant Officers, USA|
|Term of Enlistment:||Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law|
|Component:||Selectees (Enlisted Men)|
|Education:||4 years of college|
|Marital Status:||Single, without dependents|
Brackin, Edna Idona Manley b. Sep. 7, 1917 d. Jan. 1, 2003 Elmwood Cemetery
Key, Beatrice Manley b. Aug. 19, 1907 d. May 11, 1983 Elmwood Cemetery
Manley, Annie Elizabeth Green b. Oct. 17, 1898 d. Jan. 4, 1975 Elmwood Cemetery
Manley, Charles T. b. Jun. 25, 1916 d. Dec. 31, 2007 Elmwood Cemetery
Manley, Ida G. McGregor b. Apr. 15, 1875 d. Apr. 28, 1963 Elmwood Cemetery
Manley, John Henry, Jr b. Feb. 22, 1923 d. Jul. 18, 1993 Elmwood Cemetery
Manley, John Henry b. Sep. 27, 1894 d. Nov. 3, 1975 Elmwood Cemetery
Manley, Tom Henry b. Nov. 10, 1872 d. Jul. 26, 1954 Elmwood Cemetery
Manley, William, Jr b. Dec. 10, 1926 d. Apr. 16, 2004 Elmwood Cemetery
McConnell, Emma Belle Manley b. Feb. 4, 1919 d. Apr. 13, 1994 Elmwood Cemetery
McCullough, Gladys Manley b. Feb. 22, 1914 d. Sep. 25, 1987 Elmwood Cemetery
Norton, Lula Manley b. Aug. 26, 1897 d. May 4, 1980 Elmwood Cemetery
C T Manley enlisted in the U S Army in 1942 as a Private; a single man with four years of college. He was six feet tall and weighed 170 pounds. He earned the rank of Corporal and participated in the Battle of the Bulge where frostbite was as much the enemy as were the Germans. The Battle of the Bulge was significant because it marked the last major offensive that the Germans were able to put together. It was the largest and most intense battle and important for the outcome of WWII. It was basically the start of Germany’s ending.
I have always wondered what the bulge in this battle was; The ‘bulge’ was the frontline that protruded out in the region of the Ardennes Mountains, specifically around the town of Bastogne. The Allied forces at that time had control of the area and Nazi forces thought the region to be necessary to take, as the town of Bastogne gave full access to the eight supply routes in the region. All of the eight roads came together in Bastogne and these roads were important to both sides in the war. The Germans used the ‘bulge’ against us by cutting it off at the sides and surrounding the Allied troops within it. The Battle of the Bulge was significant also in that henceforth the people in the Nazi Deathcamps were liberated – a very important aspect for sure.
You may access the first of three rare color videos of the battle here; the second of the three videos here, and the third of the three videos here. There are many more videos online of the Battle of the Bulge and you may seek them out at youtube.
- The Classmates of 1936 at Spring Valley School… (rememberingtheshoals.wordpress.com)
was the mantra in 1964, at least that was the title of the play that the Junior class performed that year at Colbert County High School in Leighton. What happy times those were at Colbert County High School. Did you see the play, was it spectacular? Are these students still in the Shoals area? Are they still a part of what makes home ‘HOME’? Do tell.