Jason Manson hopes to guide Iowa soccer players through a future beyond sports in a new role


Former Iowa quarterback and wide receiver Jason Manson believes he can help players further down the lineup

Iowa quarterback Drew Tate is hugged by backup quarterback Jason Manson after Tate’s last-second pass to Warren Holloway put the Hawkeyes ahead of LSU at the end of the Capital One Bowl at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando, Florida on Saturday January 1, 2005. (The Gazette)

IOWA CITY – Former quarterback Jason Manson said this was his third time applying for a job to return to Iowa.

He thinks he’s found his best place as the program’s new director of player development.

Manson, a Drew Tate substitute quarterback and former program receiver, said he not only had the prospect of following the Iowa football program but also one who came on the program as a player who was not the star. in the field.

“My experience was not glorified, especially from a game point of view,” Manson said. “But nevertheless, I had a good university experience and being able to give it to the children in the program is what I can do. What I want to add is an element after football. There was a bit of a struggle immediately the first year to two years after.

He believes he can provide insight into the pitch as someone who has found opportunities playing positions that weren’t his first choice.

“Your pride can keep you from making simple decisions or big decisions,” Manson said. “In my day I had to do utility work and play a receiver and things like that. They let me make a decision that would allow me to play more.

But where he hopes to make the most changes is to establish a post-graduation plan for the athletes.

Manson described the football program as being like a “horse with blinders” where if you graduate, but maybe don’t go to the NFL, you “fall off a cliff.” He hopes to put in place a structure for athletes to network before they leave campus.

It comes from personal experience; In the two years after graduating, Manson struggled to find a job. He worked with his agent and trained in hopes of pursuing a career in football, but that all changed when he knew he was going to be a father.

He laughed when he said that in fact the TV breakup was the moment that drove him to get that first job at Verizon Wireless.

He played a year of professional indoor football before setting foot in the door as a coach. He started working as a wide catcher coach at Becker College in 2007. Then he helped coach wide receivers at Western Connecticut State in 2008 before becoming the offensive coordinator at Milford Academy in New Berlin, NY.

He joined the Central Connecticut State staff as an assistant coach from 2010 to 2014 before becoming a football head coach and college and career preparation coordinator at Capital Preparatory School from 2014 to 2019. He was Assistant Dean of Students and Head Football Coach at St. Thomas Moore School from 2019-21.

Chris Ejiasi was Iowa’s first director of player development from 2008-2016. Broderick Binns of Iowa held the position until he became director of diversity, equity and education. inclusion for all Iowa sports in 2020. Sam Brincks was the acting director of player development until Manson was hired this spring.

Manson and Binns are both black men in positions that impact the culture off the field of Iowa, which is still in the midst of a racial discrimination lawsuit even after the director of the force and the conditioning Chris Doyle following allegations of racism. Raimond Braithwaite, who took over the role of Doyle, is also black.

Manson said he didn’t feel like he had gone through many “horrific racial interactions” as an Iowa player, but hopes to use Binns as a resource to create a more comfortable environment for the players to. soccer.

“I was able to progress and achieve goals so I think it’s important for the guys who are in the program to see what’s achievable, it’s something that can be done,” said Manson. “I hope I can add a little more perspective and have a positive influence on the young black men in the program.”

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