Brison Manor Jr. (1952–2023)

Brison Manor Jr. was a football player from New Jersey who played two years for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks in the 1970s. Following college, he played eight years in the National Football League (NFL) with the Denver Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Brison Manor Jr., the son of Brison Manor Sr. and Katie Mae Combs Manor, was born in Bridgerton, New Jersey, on August 10, 1952. He had one brother and three sisters.

Manor was an outstanding wrestler and football player at Bridgeton High School. He lettered in both sports, earning several post-season honors. After receiving no major college offers to continue his football career after graduation in 1971, he played two years at Pratt Community College in Kansas. After being named junior college All-American his sophomore year, he accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County).

Manor’s recruitment to UA made history. In 1973, he was a member of the first large group (thirteen) African American football players to be signed to scholarships at the university. (The first Black scholarship player, Jon Richardson, had signed with the Razorbacks in 1970.) Manor played defensive end for two years and had 173 tackles.

After completing his college eligibility in 1975, he was drafted in the fifteenth round by the NFL’s New York Jets. His time with the Jets was limited, as he was released from the team just before the regular season began. After his release, he returned to Arkansas, taking a job at a Little Rock (Pulaski County) car dealership.

Not long afterward, he received a call from the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League, but before a deal could be reached, the position was filled. After coaches of the Denver Broncos viewed game film of Manor, he was offered a tryout with the team. He signed with the Broncos but had to sit out the 1976–77 season while rehabilitating a knee injury. The first season of his eight-year NFL career came with the 1977–78 season. Manor was a member of the Denver defense nicknamed the Orange Crush. During his years with the Broncos, he played in five playoff games and Super Bowl XII. He started thirty-six games of the 107 games that he played in and recorded twenty-two quarterback sacks. Before the 1984 season, he was traded to the Tampa Buccaneers, where he played in six games. Manor retired at the end of the season.

Manor married Delois Arnold Manor in 1976. The couple had a son and daughter.

Upon retirement, Manor returned to his former car dealership job. Unsatisfied with his position, he decided to pursue a career in investment banking. Over the next thirty-seven years, Manor worked with several investment firms.

Manor was active in supporting the University of Arkansas after his playing career. He also worked with Philander Smith College in fundraising efforts and the creation of the Elijah Pitts Memorial Golf Tournament.

Manor received a number of honors for his athletic accomplishments, including induction into the All Sports Museum of Southern New Jersey in 1994, the South Jersey Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2005, the University of Arkansas Hall of Honor in 2011, and the Pratt Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012. He was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.

Manor died on June 20, 2023.

For additional information:
Holt, Bob. “Star UA Lineman Manor Dies at 70.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 22, 2023, pp. 1C, 2C. Online at (accessed April 30, 2024).

Obituary of Brison Manor Jr. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 28, 2023, p. 4B. Online at (accessed April 30, 2024).

Mike Polston
CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas


No comments on this entry yet.