Entering his 13th season as the head coach at Saint Thomas, Manny Mantrana is by far the most successful coach in the history of the program. Mantrana begins his 13th year at STU with a life time record of 434-193-1 (.691). Since his arrival in Miami Gardens, Mantrana has tripled, from one to four, the STU program's number of trips to the College World Series.
Mantrana has enjoyed success since he stepped on the STU campus in the fall of 1996. He guided his first squad at STU to a Florida Sun Conference Tournament Championship, Southeast Region appearance and the Bobcats finished Mantrana's inaugural season with a 44-16 record. His second season as the Bobcats skipper produced a World Series berth, Southeast Region Championship and the Florida Sun Conference regular season and tournament championships. The squad finished the year with a 54-14 record. The 54 wins set the record for most victories in the history of the program.
Mantrana led the Bobcats to two more Florida Sun Conference Tournament Championships in 1999 and 2000 and two more Southeast Region Tournaments. The 2000 team played its way back to the World Series with a 43-14 record and along the way also captured the Southeast Region and Super Regional Tournaments as well as the Florida Sun Conference regular season and tournament championships. His 2007 squad once again earned a birth to the College World Series with a 46-16 record and another Florida Sun Conference and Southeast Region Tournament Championship.
Overall, Mantrana's teams have appeared in post season play 9 times, three of which went on to participate in the College World Series. In addition to his role as head coach, Mantrana also serves as the Bobcats hitting coach and has also handled the pitching staff eight of the 12 years he has been at STU. His teams have transformed the STU Baseball records book offensively, defensively and on the mound.
Developing and graduating players is an important part of the program under Mantrana and his staff. Over 25 players coached by Mantrana have signed professional contracts and over 95% have obtained their degrees. He has coached over 50 all-conference and all-region players, 14 All-America players, and 5 All-America Scholar Athletes.
He has been personally recognized as southeast coach of the year on three occasions and has also earned Florida Sun Conference coach of the year honors three separate times.
Mantrana played college baseball at Miami-Dade College after graduating from Miami Jackson in 1981. He was there for one season and then transferred to Middle Georgia Community College where he helped the team to a second place finish at the Junior College World Series. He was named to the All-tournament team at the Junior College World Series and MVP of the region tournament. He played his last 2 years of college baseball at Louisiana State University under Skip Bertman before signing a professional baseball contract with the Detroit Tigers. Mantrana also played for the Mets and Brewers organizations during the 1980's before beginning his coaching career at Miami Jackson High School, his alma mater. At Jackson, he took over a program that had won just 7 games in the previous 2 years and led them to 14 victories in his first season. In five seasons at Jackson, Mantrana led the Generals to the playoffs every year.
His college coaching career began at Miami-Dade College under the watchful eye of Tony Simone. While working for Coach Simone, Mantrana handled the hitters and infielders. He was also the recruiting coordinator and managed to recruit a class that Coach Simone called "the best we've had at Miami-Dade in the last 10 years". Mantrana was at Miami-Dade for one season before taking over as the head man in Miami Gardens.
Coach Mantrana earned a bachelor's degree in Sports Administration from STU in 1990. He added a master's in Guidance and Counseling from STU in 1997 and is currently working towards a doctorate in education administration.
Mantrana is married to the former Marlane Schwartz of Miami Lakes. They now reside in Pembroke Pines with their daughter Maxine (14).
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