South Allegheny football coach steps down, citing health concerns

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Friday, October 14, 2022 | 1:33 AM


South Allegheny’s turbulent football season got a little more tumultuous this week with the abrupt resignation of coach Darwin Manges.

The Gladiators have been riddled with injuries among other issues, and now they’ll be heading into games without their head coach.

Against Belle Vernon, a 50-0 loss, the Gladiators only dressed 22 players. Last week, Manges said the number dropped closer to 17.

After beating Yough in the season opener, 25-7, the Gladiators have been mired in a seven-game losing streak. They’ve been outscored 219-42 in those games.

The Gladiators would have likely been without Manges tonight against Elizabeth Forward because he’s tested positive for covid-19.

“In recent weeks, I have been battling exhaustion and other illnesses. This week covid,” Manges said Thursday. “It’s a decision that was very difficult for me personally. I only missed two practices ever as a player and a coach, the second being most recent. I just felt that I couldn’t keep denying the need to focus on me and getting healthy.”

South Allegheny athletic director Mike Crown said Gladiators defensive coordinator Desmond Ball will serve as the interim head coach.

Crown confirmed via email that Manges resigned on Saturday, but did not divulge any other information about the matter.

“I appreciate the relationships made while at SA,” Manges said. “I believe that every step in an individual’s journey prepares us for our next opportunity.

“I look forward to that time and place. I have a lot more to give.”

The Gladiators will kick off against Elizabeth Forward at Warriors Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday.

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