Leroy Mann brings intensity on and off field
Flag football, coaching, youth and fatherhood mentoring keep him going
By Melissa Steele | Feb 16, 2016
Leroy Mann III has learned early on that bad decisions can have serious consequences. At 32, he has dedicated his life to helping others. In a previous job, he helped men recently released from prison find work. Now, as a campus monitor at Sussex Central High School, he hopes to catch teens before they make life-destroying decisions.
“I'm building relationships and helping curb kids' minds, and prevent them from making decisions that will impact their future,” he said.
A walkie-talkie attached to Mann's hip chirps continuously throughout the day, alerting him of students who may not be where they are supposed to be. “My job is to maintain order and structure during school hours and lend support in disciplinary issues,” he said. He patrols the hallways in a confident, winsome manner.
Mann has a relaxed relationship with students, who approach him to shake his hand or give him a shout out. Some even refer to him as Leroy and rib him about an upcoming basketball game. “I hope I don't waste my $5 for the game tonight,” one girl says as she walks by. He gives her an unflappable smile and assures her it will be money well spent. And it was. Sussex Central beat cross-district rival Indian River 51-42.
Mann is an assistant coach for Sussex Central's boys basketball teams, both JV and varsity. After losing seven games in a row early in the season, he said, he and the other coaches focused on teamwork.
“It's been a road for us to learn how to play as a team on and off the court,” he said. With five games left in regular season, there is a chance they could make the tournament.
“If we finish close to 500, we have the potential to do it,” Mann said.
The optimism Mann brings to his coaching position is the same that served him well as a Sussex Central student 15 years ago. He was a two-year varsity basketball and football player, helping the Golden Knights reach the Delaware State Division I football finals for the first time in school history.
As a senior, Mann played running back, wide receiver, corner back and safety. The team lost to Newark 29-13, but the experience was priceless.