Roy Manning, a former University of Michigan linebacker who spent three seasons in the National Football League and has coached at both Michigan and the University of Cincinnati, has joined the Northern Illinois football staff as running backs coach, NIU head coach Rod Carey announced Wednesday.
“We’re really happy to have Roy Manning come in as our running backs coach,” Carey said. “He brings a great background as a player and as a coach. He is an excellent teacher of the game who is going to bring a lot to the program. He fits right in at NIU with the values of our program. He comes from a great family; both of his parents are educators and we’re really happy to welcome Roy, his parents and his sisters to the Huskie Family.”
Manning joins the Huskie staff after spending the 2012 season at Cincinnati as running backs coach. The Bearcats led the BIG EAST, and ranked 30th in the country in rushing offense and were the top scoring offense in the league in 2012. Cincinnati’s George Winn posted the second-best rushing season in school history and averaged 102.6 yards per game for the 10-3 Bearcats.
The 2012 campaign was Manning’s second at Cincinnati, as he previously served on the coaching staff at UC in 2010 as a member of the defensive staff. In 2011, Manning was a graduate assistant coach at his alma mater, where he worked with the Wolverines’ offensive line. He was part of the coaching staff that led UM to an 11-2 record and a victory in the 2012 Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Manning said after working with successful programs in each of the last three seasons, coming to another successful team like Northern Illinois was a natural fit.
"To join a program like Northern Illinois that’s already established itself as a championship team is obviously important,” Manning said. “This team has won the MAC the last two years, so I’m excited to come on board and bring my energy and knowledge to the running backs room and to the offense. From seeing NIU games on TV, I can tell that this coaching staff has a lot of passion for what they do, and I’m a guy that brings that type of attitude every day. The opportunity to come to a Top 25 program is a great fit for me and I couldn’t be more excited to get started.
Manning began his coaching career after playing linebacker for five teams over three seasons in the NFL. Signed as a free agent by the Green Bay Packers in 2005, he saw action in 15 games and started two as a rookie with the Packers that season. He made 41 tackles and broke up one pass, and tied for third on the team with 21 special teams tackles. Manning played for the Houston Texans and Buffalo Bills in 2006, and spent time on the rosters of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cincinnati Bengals in 2007.
He played in 37 career games at the University of Michigan, where he was a four-year letterwinner (2001-04) at linebacker. He started 10 games as a fifth-year senior in 2004, and won the Roger Zatkoff Award as the team’s No. 1 linebacker. As a senior, he made 39 tackles, six tackles for loss and one quarterback sacks. His career totals include 72 tackles, nine tackles for loss and three sacks. The Saginaw, Mich. native earned his bachelor’s degree from UM in 2004.
Manning lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track and field at Saginaw High School, where he was the Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year as a senior.
He is the third new assistant coach hired by Carey as he joins Thad Ward (wide receivers) and Brett Diersen (defensive line) as new members of the Huskie coaching staff for 2013.