Gregory Zitrides

Graduating class of 1935



Gregory "Gus" Zitrides was truly of the legendary football figures in Manchester history, and details of hi biography are intricately interwoven with some of the greatest names in the history of the game. As a high school player between 1932-1935 for Central High's all-powerful gridiron machine under legendary Coach Hubie McDonough, this amazing 175 pound watch charm guard earned All-State honors for three consecutive seasons. He then moved on to Dartmouth where he earned AP and UPI All-American honors under college coaching legend Earl "Red" Blaik. After coaching briefly as an assistant at Cornell University, Zitrides served his country in the South Pacific during the war years. In 1946 he signed on as line coach under another coaching legend, Rip Engle, at Brown. He became head coach at Brown in 1950 when Engle moved on to Penn State. Among the great players he turned out were All-Pro Don Collo of the Cleveland Browns and a tough youngster named Joe Paterno. He left coaching in 1951 for U.S. government service from which he retired in 1973. Zitrides was honored in his hometown in 1979 upon his induction into the prestigious Ahepa Athletic Hall of Fame, a pantheon of Greek sports heroes. Paterno, still going strong as the now legendary Penn State mentor, was the guest speaker at Zitrides' testimonial. Zitrides died in 1987 at the age of 72.