Sam Mandich's contributions to athletics are Parkersburg High School were many. To honor him for his commitment to PHS and to the Big Reds basketball program, the Basketball Boosters created the Sam Mandich Scholarship Fund at the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation. The fund provides educational awards to members of the Big Reds basketball team for pursuit of higher education. Recipients are chosen on the basis of need, with consideration also given to leadership and responsible conduct and attitude with regard to both athletic and scholastic activities
Mr. Mandich retired from PHS in 1984, after 43 years in the educational field. His first job was at Mt. Hope, where he served from 1941 to 1951, with the exception of being away four of those years while serving with the United States Marines. Mr. Mandich came to Parkersburg in 1951 under Principal D. O. Conner. As coach of the basketball team, he won the state crown for the Big Reds in 1958, the first time in 32 years. He won it again in 1960 and 1970.
Mr. Mandich stepped down from his basketball duties in 1964 but came back in 1968 to mentor the team after a coach, named by the board, later declined to serve. Mr. Mandich took over the athletic director job from Bernie Price in 1974.
Over the years, Mr. Mandich received many awards recognizing his outstanding abilities as a coach. He was named West Virginia Coach of the Year in 1960, was named Coach of the Year for the Morgantown Touchdown Club, and was named Athletic Director of the Year prior to his retirement in 1984.
Mr. Mandich is a graduate of Weir High School in Weirton, West Virginia, where he played under the fabled Carl Hamill. He was captain of both the football and basketball teams at Weir. Later, at West Virginia University he was a basketball captain. He also played football at WVU, and he lettered in both sports.
Mr. Mandich and his wife Anne had one daughter, Mary Beth Mandich, and four grandchildren: Ben, Scott, Sam, and Heather.