Bill Manning, who spent 15 years as the top assistant coach under legendary Harvard heavyweight head coach Harry Parker, is entering his third season as assistant coach with the Princeton men's lightweight rowing team. Last year, he helped the lightweights earn bronze at Sprints, and he coached a four to gold at the IRA Championships.
He helped Princeton to an impressive 2013-14 campaign during his first season. After winning the prestigious Head of the Charles during the fall, Princeton had a perfect day during the annual H-Y-P regatta, and it returned to the Eastern Sprints medal stand with a bronze at the 2014 Championships.
Princeton retained both the Goldthwait Cup and spot on the Sprints medal stand last year, and following the golden performance from his fours at IRAs, the varsity eight moved up a spot to fourth in its final.
In 2015 Manning coached the USA LM2- to a fifth place finish at the World Championships. This was the best performance by the USA in the event since 2004. Earlier in the summer he coached the USA LM4- to silver, the M2- to the A finals, and co-coached the bronze-medal winning men's 8 at the Pan American Games. In 2014 he coached the USA LM8 at the World Championships.From June, 2011, through September, 2013, Manning was the associate head coach of Harvard Crew. In both years, Harvard won the Rowe Cup team title at the Eastern Sprints and swept Yale in the annual Harvard/Yale Regatta.
The first varsity also won the Eastern Sprints and Ivy League championship in 2013. Additionally, the top boat took bronze in 2012 and silver in 2013 at the IRA national championships. Manning’s crew won the Visitor’s Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta in England last summer, and did so by rewriting the Henley record book.
“I am honored and thrilled to join the Princeton University rowing community and to assist Marty Crotty in coaching the lightweight men,” Manning said. “The team, and the entire boathouse, consists of some of the most capable and motivated student-athletes in the sport. I am excited to help them achieve their athletic and educational goals."
Manning directed the freshmen to Eastern Sprints medals in twelve of his thirteen years, including seven championship victories (1999, '01, '02, '04, '08, '10 '11).
His boat raced in the A Final at the IRA Regatta from 2003 to 2011 and won three silver medals and three bronze medals. In both 2001 and 2002 the freshmen won the Temple Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta; they set the Temple Cup course record in 2011.
Despite the turnover of the freshmen squad every year, Manning's first eight did not lose a dual race in his final five seasons. They defeated 35 straight dual opponents between 2007 and 2011. The Crimson freshmen defeated Yale in The Race in eleven of Manning's thirteen years guiding them. He also directed all of Harvard’s recruiting from 1998 to 2013.
Manning also coached the varsity while serving during his time as the freshmen coach. In 2004, he took the Crimson to the Lucerne World Cup in Switzerland where they raced as USA 2, defeated the British and French Olympic crews, and made the A Final. In 2011, he coached the varsity boats at Henley, where Harvard’s 2V won the Prince Albert Challenge Cup and set a course record in the process.
Manning served as an assistant coach with the U.S. Junior National Team at five Junior World Championships between 1997 and 2002 and coached the USA Men's Pair to Olympic qualification at the 2003 World Championships. At the 2004 Athens Olympic Games he assisted Harvard coach Charley Butt in working with the USA men’s pair, men’s double, and men’s lightweight double. In 2006 and 2007 he directed the USA U-23 Men's Sculling program.
Prior to joining the Harvard staff, Manning earned an Ed.M. in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard; served as a college counselor, teacher and coach at Buckingham, Browne, & Nichols School; and worked as an Assistant Director of Admissions at the College of the Holy Cross. He graduated from Holy Cross in 1987 and began rowing at Phillips Exeter Academy.