Bill Manning, who spent 15 of the past 16 years as the top assistant coach under legendary Harvard heavyweight head coach Harry Parker, has been hired as the assistant coach of the Princeton men’s lightweight rowing team, it was announced Monday by head coach Marty Crotty.
He replaces former Princeton heavyweight rower Michael Lombardi, who coached three years with Crotty before choosing to leave the coaching profession recently.
“Our roster is young, has a ton of capacity and is eager to learn,” Crotty said. “You can never have too much coaching experience on your staff and Bill has a proven track record of developing athletes and putting together fast crews that row well.
“I was faced with a tricky issue of replacing a coach mid-year, but Bill is the perfect guy to bring in without missing a beat,” Crotty added. “I plan on incorporating him into all facets of our program on day one.”
From June, 2011, through this past September, 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.