Augusta native and former quarterback of the University of Maine football team passed away at the age of 79.

Manchester 'Manch' Wheeler was the only Maine quarterback to take the Black Bears to an undefeated season in 1961 when they went 8-0 and 1 and won the Yankee Conference championship.

Wheeler remained loyal to his alma mater for decades. during his three years as QB for the Black Bears he also played safety and linebacker and set school punting records. As a senior he was team captain and selected to the All-Yankee Conference first team.

According to Wheeler played for the Buffalo Bills of the American Football League in 1962, signing a free-agent contract worth a reported $8,500. One of seven quarterbacks in training camp, he earned one of three roster spots at the position — the starter was former U.S. Rep. Jack Kemp — and played in four games that season.

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