Bill Manning

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Bill Manning
NationalityAmerican
Alma materUniversity of Bridgeport (BS, MBA)
EmployerMaple Leaf Sports & Entertainment
TitlePresident, Toronto FC
President, Toronto Argonauts
Spouse(s)Jennifer Manning
Children2
Bill Manning
Personal information
Full name Bill Manning
Place of birth Massapequa, New York, United States
Position(s) Defender
Youth career
1972-1983 Massapequa SC
1979-1983 Long Island JSL Select Team
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1983–1986 Bridgeport Purple Knights
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
?–1991 Brooklyn Italians
1991 Penn-Jersey Spirit 3 (0)
1993 Valley Golden Eagles
1994–1995 New York Fever
National team
1992 Puerto Rico 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Bill Manning is a sports executive currently employed by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment; serving as president of Toronto FC in Major League Soccer and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. He has also worked in the front office of the Houston Rockets of the NBA and the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL. He previously was a professional soccer player. Born in the United States, he represented the Puerto Rico national team.

Early life and education[edit]

Manning is a native of Massapequa, New York. As a child, he played soccer for Massapequa Soccer Club as well as the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) Select Team.[1]

After high school, he was recruited by Adelphi, Hofstra, Harwick, North Carolina, but ultimately decided to attend the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, who offered him a full-ride scholarship.[2] He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree as well as a Masters in Business Administration.[3] While at Bridgeport, he was a member of the Bridgeport Purple Knights men's soccer team and helped lead the team to the 1986 NCAA Division II Final Four.[1] He was named to the school's Hall of Fame in 2006[4] and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016.[5] He was selected to play in the 1986 Intercollegiate Soccer Association of America East-West All-Star Game.[6]

Professional career[edit]

After college, he became a professional soccer player joining the Brooklyn Italians with whom he advanced to the final of the U.S. Open Cup twice, winning the title in 1991 U.S. Open Cup,[5] where he received a red card in the finals in the 23rd minute.[7][8] He then joined the Penn-Jersey Spirit in 1991 of the American Professional Soccer League, a precursor to the United Soccer League. In 1993, he joined the Valley Golden Eagles. In 1994 and 1995, he played for the New York Fever.[9]

He played with the Puerto Rico national team during the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifying tournament.[4]

Management career[edit]

In 1993, Manning began his career in sports management, joining the Continental Indoor Soccer League in a front office role for their inaugural season.[3] The following year, he joined the New York Fever where he served as the Director of Marketing and Operations in addition to being a player. In 1996, he was hired as Vice President and General Manager of the Long Island Rough Riders of the United Soccer League, where he and the club received the Marketing Excellent Award twice for best overall marketing in the USL.[6]

After the 1997 USL season, he joined the Minnesota Thunder as President and General Manager, where they advanced to the 1998 USL A-League championship match. In 1999, Minnesota won the league championship and Manning was named USL Executive of the Year, in part due to the championship and developing the second-highest revenue base in the league.[6]

In 2000, he joined Major League Soccer club Tampa Bay Mutiny as President and General Manager.[10][11] He was named 2000 MLS Executive of the Year.[6] He remained with the team until the team was contracted prior to the 2002 MLS season.[9]

After his contract with MLS expired in 2003, he moved to the National Basketball Association, joining the Houston Rockets as Director of Corporate Partnerships[12]

In 2004, he moved to the National Football League with the Philadelphia Eagles serving as Vice President of Sales and Service, overseeing a 50% increase in corporate sponsorship from 2004 to 2007.[6]

In 2008, he returned to soccer and MLS, being name the President of Real Salt Lake as well as the President of Rio Tinto Stadium. In 2009, RSL won the MLS Cup, which was the first major professional sports championship in Utah in 40 years,[6] and finished as runner-ups in 2013.[13] He was named MLS Executive of the Year in 2012,[14] and won the award again in 2014 for the second time in three years, and his third time overall.[1] He and the club parted in 2015.[15]

In 2015, he was named as President of Toronto FC,[16][17] winning the MLS cup in 2017, and finishing as runner-ups in 2016 and 2019.[13] In 2018, after the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League were acquired by Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, the owners of Toronto FC, Manning was named President of the Argos, in addition to his role as president of TFC.[18] In March 2021, he signed a five year extension to remain president of both teams.[19]

Personal[edit]

Manning earned a U.S. Soccer National "A" Coaching License in 2001.[5] He is married to Jennifer, with whom he has two sons, John and Will.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Vogt, Randy (January 19, 2015). "Massapequa's Bill Manning". Soccer Today.
  2. ^ Jacobs, Jeff (September 26, 2020). "Bill Manning comes full circle, returning to Connecticut with Toronto FC". Connecticut Post.
  3. ^ a b "Bill Manning". Toronto Argonauts.
  4. ^ a b "Real Salt Lake Names Philadelphia Eagles Executive Bill Manning President of Club". Our Sports Central. March 17, 2008.
  5. ^ a b c "Bill Manning - The Road to 2026: Panelist". Ontario Soccer Association.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Vogt, Randy (February 26, 2014). "Real Salt Lake President Bill Manning Has Fond Memories of Playing Youth Soccer on Long Island". Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association.
  7. ^ Fontela, Jonah (July 2, 2019). "The Brooklyn Italians - More Than a Club". United States Soccer Federation .
  8. ^ Lewis, Michael (September 11, 2017). "Open Cup Rewind:Manning's Mustang & The '91 Brooklyn Italians". United States Soccer Federation . Archived from the original on May 16, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Black, Michael (September 24, 2008). "Real Salt Lake's Manning a natural fit with team". Deseret News.
  10. ^ "MLS: Mutiny names Manning GM". Soccer America. February 1, 2000.
  11. ^ Page, Rodney (February 2, 2000). "Mutiny appoints Manning general manager". Tampa Bay Times.
  12. ^ "Mutiny's Manning ships out to ride Houston Rockets". Tampa Bay Business Journal. March 31, 2003.
  13. ^ a b Armstrong, Laura (January 16, 2021). "Win or lose, Toronto FC is Bill Manning's team after off-field makeover". Toronto Star.
  14. ^ "Real Salt Lake President Bill Manning Named Major League Soccer Executive of the Year". Our Sports Central. January 23, 2013.
  15. ^ Wiles, Alex (August 18, 2015). "Real Salt Lake parts ways with President Bill Manning". KUTV.
  16. ^ Davidson, Neil (October 12, 2015). "Toronto FC names Bill Manning as president". The Globe and Mail.
  17. ^ Baliva, Zach (September 15, 2016). "Toronto's Goals Keeper". Advantage Magazine.
  18. ^ Strong, Gregory (January 19, 2018). "TFC's Bill Manning named Argos president, Michael Copeland reassigned". Toronto Star.
  19. ^ Davidson, Neil (March 18, 2021). "Toronto FC, Argos president Bill Manning rewarded with 5-year contract extension". CBC.
  20. ^ Davidson, Neil (April 6, 2020). "Toronto FC, Argos president Bill Manning 'staying connected' during hiatus". The Globe and Mail.

External links[edit]