Advertise with usContact UsRTI Team

Peyton Manning, Rick Barnes React to Gus Manning’s Passing

Gus Manning and Peyton Manning
Tennessee legends Gus Manning (left) and Peyton Manning (right). Photo via @PeytonManning on Instagram.

Tennessee Athletics lost a longtime legend with the passing of Gus Manning on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023.

Manning was 99 years old at the time of his passing.

Manning’s work at Tennessee spanned for nearly half a century as he wore each and every type of hat there was around the logistics/media side of the program.

“The impact Manning made on the evolution of Tennessee Athletics’ internal operations—much of which was done behind the scenes and away from the spotlight—was no less significant than the contributions of iconic names such as Neyland, Nathan W. Dougherty, Joan Cronan, Doug Dickey and Pat Summitt,” Tennessee wrote in a press release on Monday.

After the news started to circulate on Monday morning, VFL and Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning honored Gus Manning with an Instagram post.

“I was honored to call Gus Manning my friend,” Peyton wrote on Instagram. “He was the ultimate Tennessee Volunteer. No one served the University of Tennessee better than Gus. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Rest in peace, Gus.”

Manning also added three photographs of himself and Gus Manning with his post.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Peyton Manning (@peytonmanning)

More from RTI: Tennessee Checkering TBA For Midweek Rivalry Bout

Later in the day on Monday, as Tennessee basketball was about to begin practice in Thompson-Boling Arena, Vols head coach Rick Barnes shared some of his favorite memories regarding Gus Manning.

“Well, there’s a monument out back that has been here since he left and that’s his little golf cart,” Barnes said about Manning’s legacy on Monday. “It’s still sitting out there. It’s got some flat tires. People tell me back in the day they would see him running up and down Kingston Pike with it, street ready. But it hasn’t moved since the day he left. It’s there. It shows you how much people respected him, because I’m sure he kept the key with full intentions that he’s planning on coming back, driving that cart. You leave today, you walk out there, it really hasn’t moved since his last day here.”

“He used to tell me about all of them. From picking cheerleaders to doing everything. Tom (Satkowiak) has a great photo in his office where he looks like he’s holding everything in a brief case as he’s celebrating a big football win. Again, at the time, people tell me back in the day when everything was really just kind of getting started, he wore every hat that you could wear. I walked in one day and had a jacket on. He said Coach, I really like that jacket. I said well I’ll get you one. It was not a university-issued jacket, it was just a really warm jacket. I’m looking at him and I said what size would you wear? He said Coach, I’m a triple-X. I said there’s no way you’re a triple-X. And I had an extra large jacket on and I had him put it on. It came to about right here. I didn’t realize how big he was. He absolutely was a triple-X. You wouldn’t know it. But again, he’s a person that every time you’re around him, he had something that he could share with you. Loved telling stories. Back on his wall back there, he’s got photos up of Bear Bryant, Adolf Rupp. You go through the line from the ‘50s on. He’s got all those legendary coaches and people that he worked with. I think he had up most of the coaches here. He did do that. He loved this place and this University loved him.”

As mentioned previously, Gus Manning held just about every responsibility that the athletics department needed during his time serving the programs. Tennessee’s press release on Monday put it into perspective with a long list:

“A two-page memo from [General Robert R.] Neyland to [Gus] Manning following yet another Manning promotion in 1960 outlined the following ‘direct responsibilities’:

  • Ticketing
  • Security
  • Gameday traffic and parking
  • Band and cheerleaders
  • Visiting locker room
  • Programs and concessions
  • Public address and scoreboard
  • Halftime festivities
  • Stadium cleanup
  • Stadium and fieldhouse seating
  • Ushers and janitorial staff
  • Faculty advisor
  • Track, baseball diamond and tennis courts maintenance
  • Broadcasts originating from stadium
  • Sunday TV program during football season
  • Stadium store (East and South Stadium Hall dining facility)
  • Practice-field maintenance and groundskeepers
  • Public relations program
  • Speakers for high school banquets, civic clubs, etc.
  • Purchasing, receiving and accounting for athletics
  • Team travel
  • And finally: ‘Accept and carry out any extra duties assigned by the Athletic Director, as he sees fit.'”

Manning’s time at Tennessee was truly nothing less than remarkable. His impact on the people of Tennessee Athletics, whether they were inside or outside the program, still in Knoxville or have moved away, will be felt for years to come after his passing.

Similar Articles


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tweet Us