December 1, 2006 - Ontario University Athletics lost one of its coaching legends, John Shannahan McManus, on Wednesday, November 29, 2006, after a courageous battle with cancer at North York General Hospital.

Devoted and loving husband of the late Myrtle (nee Thom) for 40 years and predeceased by his brother Pierce and sisters Mildred and Kay. Will be sadly missed by sister Maureen Elsey, son John and wife Julie, their children Olivia and Patrick, and daughter Katherine and husband Tom.

Born in Milestone, Saskatchewan in 1918, he was raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba where he excelled in Baseball, Basketball and Track & Field. John joined the RCAF at the outbreak of WWII and spent 1939-42 at various Fighter Command bases in England. During the spring of 1942, he joined 413 Squadron in Ceylon for a tour and then returned to Bomber Command bases in England for the duration of the war. After WWII, he attended University of Toronto where he studied Physical Education and played basketball with the Varsity Blues. In addition to playing at the intercollegiate level, John was a member of the 1946 Toronto Huskies practice squad of the Basketball Association of America (which merged with the National Basketball League to become the National Basketball Association). During the summers, he was a pitcher on various professional baseball teams. Upon graduation in 1950, he coached the Acadia Axemen basketball team in Wolfville, NS for two years and returned to University of Toronto in 1952 to coach football and basketball and to teach in the school of Phys Ed. John was the head basketball coach from 1954-1983. During that period, he guided the Varsity Blues through more than 600 exhibition, league and playoff games. After retirement, he and Myrtle enjoyed summers at their cottage on Collins Lake and winters in Dania, Florida.

The OUA annual presents an award in honour of John McManus to a retired (at least five year) head coach or assistant coach with a minimum of seven years coaching service. The award recognized the highest ideals and qualities of sportsmanship and service while engaged in coaching in university sport.

In accordance with Johnís wishes, there will be no visitation, service or funeral. Cremation has taken place. In lieu of flowers, donations are gratefully accepted in Johnís memory to the "University of Toronto, T-Holders' Association", and can be sent c/o Varsity Blues Alumni Office, 55 Harbord St. Toronto, ON M5S 2W6. Johnís last message to family and friends ďGet in shape and keep fit!Ē

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