Mancuso to retire after 33 years, 600 wins – American Press

Julie Mancuso started her storied coaching career more than 30 years ago. Now she is down to her final few games.

Mancuso will retire after the Sulfur Tor softball team’s season ends.

“The competition is always something that I have enjoyed and, of course, getting to know fellow coaches and peers in the coaching world,” Mancuso said. “Those are some of the things that I will miss, visiting with the friends that I have made, and, of course, the kids. I still enjoy being around the kids.

“I have some great memories. We have had some exceptional seasons and some that weren’t that good but still memorable because the kids made it that way.

“I am going to miss the camaraderie with my fellow coaches. I have been blessed. Some of the fellow coaches in the district have presented me with cakes, dinners and flowers, and things after the games. It has been serene. You compete against these people year in and year out and form some good friendships, as well.”

In four seasons at St. Louis Catholic and 29 at Sulfur, Mancuso is 600-291-8.

“I feel very fortunate to have worked with the caliber of kids I did and at the schools that I have,” Mancuso said. “In both schools, I was able to have some success, and I enjoyed the administration I worked under. They were two good schools, and I couldn’t imagine finishing at any other school than Sulfur.”

Mancuso was a two-sport star — softball and volleyball — for Barbe in the 1980s and played softball for two seasons at Sam Houston State before injury cut her playing days short. Eventually, she settled on a career in education and got her first coaching job at St. Louis in 1989, coaching softball and volleyball. She did the same at Sulfur until stepping away from volleyball after the 2016 season.

“I always enjoyed playing and being a part of a team,” Mancuso said. “Education was something my mom was in and tried to talk me out of going into.

“In college, I went a couple of different routes and just ended up back in education. It has been a good job. I have enjoyed it. I really can’t see myself doing anything else. I always thought there was something else to do but never found it, so I may do that in retirement, who knows.”

She took the Saints to their first state tournament in 1992, then led Sulfur to an undefeated season and Class 5A state championship in 1994. She added another state title in 1995 and a third in 2001, the first year the state tournament came to Sulfur.

She led the Tors to the state tournament nine times.

Dozens of her former players went on to play in college, but Mancuso hopes that she was able to prepare them for life after softball, too.

“I would like to think that I have prepared them more for life outside of softball and real-world situations because softball is a game and should be an outlet,” Mancuso said. “I try to tell them to use this as an outlet for all the mess that life brings you. Have fun and enjoy it because your high school years will only pass by one time.”

Mancuso said she is grateful for the support of the community over the years, especially when she helped bring the state tournament to Sulfur.

“I was worried I was going to have enough people to work the thing (state tournament),” Mancuso said. “I have been most impressed with how Sulfur is truly a family-oriented community and the support they gave me year in and year out, I can’t thank the community enough for that as far as helping run tournaments and former players and teachers that have helped us do that. It is a great feeling to have that kind of support.”

The Tors (16-9) will host District 3-5A rival Barbe today. The LHSAA will release the playoff brackets on Thursday.

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