Bill Manning New High-Performance Coach at Penn AC

Bill Manning is appointed head coach of Penn AC’s High-Performance Group. Photo from La Salle University website.

26 January 2022

By Göran R Buckhorn

The hiring of High-Performance Coaches saga continues. Bill Manning has been hired as Penn AC Rowing Association’s head coach of its High-Performance Group.

Yesterday, Penn AC Rowing Association, Philadelphia, a USRowing High Performance Partner Club, announces that it has hired Bill Manning as head coach of its High-Performance Group. Manning will start his new position on 3 February.

“We believe Bill Manning will be a catalyst to cement Philadelphia as one of the top training centers for elite rowers and scullers in the U.S., and to develop athletes that will ultimately win medals at the World Championships and Olympic Games,” Mike Wherley, Penn AC President, said in a statement. “Bill brings an incredible track record of coaching success at the elite college level and also with the U.S. National Team, and we expect he will attract athletes to add to our current squad, building a very strong team of highly-motivated men and women.”

“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Penn AC to focus on developing and supporting brave rowers and scullers pursuing their Olympic dreams,” Bill Manning said. “The club, the Schuylkill Navy, and the greater Philadelphia community have an extraordinary record of achievement. With USRowing’s renewed emphasis on club rowing, Penn AC is well positioned to continue producing world class athletes for the USA.”

Manning has a long history of success in collegiate coaching. He was the interim head coach of LaSalle University (since October 2021), coached Princeton Women in 2019-2021, Princeton Men’s Lightweight in 2013-2019, and Harvard Men in 1998-2013.

I met Manning several times while he was coaching at Harvard. He proved to be a kind man, who took time to chat even with an unsignificant rowing scribbler. Manning coached the Harvard freshmen from 1998 to 2011 and acted as Associate Head Coach under Harry Parker from 2011 to Parker’s death in 2013. Manning’s crews took heaps of medals at the Eastern Sprints and the IRA National Championships. His freshman crew won 11 of 13 Harvard-Yale Races on the Thames River in New London. During Manning’s two years as Parker’s right hand man, the Crimson eight won gold at the Eastern Sprints and took silver at the IRA National Championships in 2013, after the Harvard crew had taken silver and bronze in the same regattas the prior year.

Bill Manning in the back row on the far right. On his right is Harry Parker. A photo taken at Harvard’s Red Top in 2013. Photo: Göran R Buckhorn.

After the collegiate rowing season is over, the Crimson crews often cross the pond to race at Henley Royal Regatta. Crews coached by Manning won the Visitor’s Challenge Cup in 2013, the Ladies’ Challenge Plate in 2012, the Prince Albert Cup in 2011 and two Temple Challenge Cups in 2002 and 2001.

Bill Manning has spent many summers coaching rowers for the U.S. National Team, crews who have competed at the Olympic Games (2004), World Championships (2003, 2014, 2015) and Pan American Games (2015). He was the head Coach for Team USA at the Youth Olympic Games in 2018.

“I am thankful for the many athletes and coaches I have worked with on the international stage who have contributed to my development as a person and coach,” Manning said. “Their influence will guide my work as I seek to help others represent the United States and compete at the highest level.”

“Penn AC has a long history of developing athletes to represent the U.S. and have real successes at the international level – including winning medals at the World Championships and Olympic Games,” Wherley said. “We know that USRowing’s new leaders are looking for Penn AC and its other Partner Clubs to step up, invest, rally support from the rowing community, and help deliver those medals over the next quadrennial or two.”

Wherley continued: “Bill is the perfect coach to take our athletes and our program to the next level. We welcome him to the Schuylkill Navy community and look forward to all that he will contribute.”

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