HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The St. John Paul II Catholic High School (JPII) Board of Trustees and headmaster are pleased to announce the appointment of Matthew McManus as athletic director, effective July 20. McManus comes to St. John Paul II from his alma mater, Malvern Preparatory School in Malvern, Pennsylvania.
Since 2016, McManus was Malvern Prep’s director of alumni relations and athletic development. In this role, he successfully developed and launched several initiatives, including an annual 5K race, a new online networking platform and a rotational internship experience for seniors with Malvern alumni. During his seven-year tenure as an assistant coach for the varsity basketball team, the team wrapped up the winningest season in school history, recording 27 wins. Additionally, the team captured its first undefeated league championship in four decades and finished second in the state. Along with coaching hoops, McManus was the Head Coach for the middle school JV Lacrosse team for four years.
As a student, McManus was a three-year varsity letter winner and team captain for the basketball team. After graduating from Malvern in 2008, McManus went on to play at the Division III level at DeSales University and Widener University.
On the opportunity to lead JPII Athletics, McManus said, “I was attracted to JPII because it is a very unique and opportune position as the only Catholic high school in the northern part of the state. That’s not to say there isn’t competition, but with the ability to offer a best-in-class education rooted in Faith, coupled with the Arts and Athletic programs, JPII has the potential to solidify itself as THE premier Catholic High School experience. Based on the growth and development of the greater Huntsville area, I see unlimited opportunity to continue to expand JPII’s footprint not only with Athletics, but with our identity as a Catholic institution.”
JPII Headmaster Jeremiah Russell spoke regarding qualities McManus brings to JPII and what made him the top candidate.
“Matthew is a product of the Catholic education system. His firm belief in the outstanding academics, deep rooted faith and competitive sports edge provided by Catholic schools make him a great fit for JPII. He has the administrative background and coaching experience he needs to lead our JPII and FCMS athletic program to become the leading athletic program in North Alabama.”
McManus’ experiences in Catholic education started in the first grade and continued through his freshman year of college. It has taught him so many life lessons that have been learned through worship, prayer and service.
McManus said, “This educational experience not only impacts the spiritual growth of young men and women, but also challenges them mentally and physically. Our talents are not ours to keep for ourselves, but given to us by God and meant to be shared and utilized to help those who are less fortunate.”
He closed by sharing a quote that he lives by and has been instilled in him ever since he can remember and that is: “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”