A man at the heart of orange and white nation celebrated a major milestone this week.
Gus Manning celebrated his 96th birthday on Monday, July 8.
Tennessee legend and Super Bowl Champion Peyton Manning visiting the West Knoxville nursing facility Gus is staying on Tuesday. Peyton may be the most well-known Manning in Knoxville but Gus has got him and everyone else beat in longevity.
Gus was hired by General Neyland when he was a student in 1946. He’s been a pillar ever since. At one point, Gus had attended over 450 consecutive football games. He didn’t miss seeing Peyton play during his time on Rocky Top.
“Well, I first knew him when they brought him on campus here as a freshman,” Gus said. “Of course, I got to know Peyton’s father real well. Archie.”
“We been friends ever since he came on campus,” Peyton said of Gus.
Gus has been described as being Tennessee’s original sports manager. He did it all, ticket office, business office, facility management and event management.
General Robert Neyland was the athletic director with Gus as his right-hand man.