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Jeff Mangram was a standout defensive back at Brunswick High from 1982-1984 and went on to collegiate stardom in the NCAA Division I ranks.

After starring for John Willis’ Pirates, Mangram played at Syracuse University, where he was a four-year letterman and four-year starter for the Orange in the secondary. Starting at cornerback as a freshman and recording a career-high 61 tackles that season, he ultimately moved to strong safety and finished his career with 193 total tackles and three interceptions. 

Mangram was a member of the 1987 Syracuse team that finished the regular season 11-0 and would tie Auburn 16-16 in the Sugar Bowl. The game was the first for the Orange on New Year’s Day since 1965. They were fourth in the final AP and UPI rankings.

That season, the Syracuse defense, with Mangram anchoring the secondary, allowed just 148.8 passing yards a game. That 1987 SU football team and the 1959 team are the only two Syracuse University football teams to go undefeated. In 1988, at the end of Mangram’s Syracuse football tenure, he earned the Ben Schwartzwalder Award for Exemplary Football Player.

Mangram’s time at Syracuse didn’t end with football, though. He continued his education there and earned a master’s degree in Social Studies education and also a doctorate in teaching and leadership.

Mangram distinguished himself in the classroom as a middle and high school Social Studies teacher, being named Herald Journal Teacher of the Year in 1993, WSTM teacher of the week in 1994 and 1998, awarded the 1998 Joan Shorenstein Scholarship to do graduate study at Harvard University, selected as a finalist for the New York State Teacher of the Year Award in 2003, and in 2011 was named the Outstanding Faculty by the International Society for the Social Studies.


Currently an Associate Professor of Social Studies Education at the Syracuse University School of Education, Jeff researches issues around media education, urban education, and critical pedagogy. He has published his research in such notable journals as Theory and Research in Social Education, The Journal of Social Studies Research and the Journal of Instructional Research.  

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