LEHMAN, Pa. — Penn State Wilkes-Barre has appointed a head baseball coach for the 2023-2024 season — and he is no stranger to the campus. A former student-athlete at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, Jason McManus coached the baseball team from winter 2013 to spring 2016, helping to rebuild the program before leaving to help his wife battle cancer. He brings more than 18 years of experience to the Mountain Lions as returning head coach.
A model of resilience and dedication for both his family and community, McManus looks forward to the season to come. “Our program was just starting to turn around the last time I was here before I had to step away [to help my wife]. I’m happy to say that she has been cancer-free for almost six years. I’m here to finish the job and get the program back to its winning ways," he said.
McManus’ coaching career began at Riverside Junior-Senior High School, where he started as head baseball coach for the junior high school team before being promoted to junior varsity coach. Concurrently, McManus coached Old Forge Prep and Senior Legion during the summer. Most recently, he served as head coach for Crestwood’s junior high program and currently coaches the Mountain Post 781 Junior Legion team.
“Coach McManus’ connection to our community and ability to cultivate athletic excellence among his players is evident,” said Penn State Wilkes-Barre Athletic Director Scott Miner. “We look forward to the leadership and work ethic he’ll bring to rebuilding our baseball program.”
A graduate of Hanover High School, McManus played as a super utility player, winning the Wyoming Valley Conference Championship in his senior year and finishing with a 17-0 record. After high school, he attended Penn State Wilkes-Barre and played baseball under head coach Chip Sorber.
McManus has achieved many milestones throughout his coaching career. He served on the West Side Little League board as a player agent while coaching for nine years. He also has coached a number of high school players who went on to play in collegiate programs at almost every level. McManus has compiled over 180 wins in his coaching career at the high school, legion and college levels. Most recently, his Mountain Post 781 Junior Legion team won the regular season championship for the second year in a row after winning the overall championship last season. The team now advances to regionals for the third consecutive season.
McManus resides in Mountain Top with his wife, Stephanie, and two children, Aubrey, 18, and Caleb, 16. He enjoys spending time with family as well as hunting, fishing and hiking.