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President's Award - Bill Manning

Bill Manning joined MLSE as President of Toronto FC on October 12, 2015 and later also added the position of President of the Toronto Argonauts to his leadership portfolio, when the Canadian Football League franchise was acquired by the company in January 2018.

Since arriving in Toronto, Manning has been a serial winner. He has helped TFC advance to three MLS Cups (2016, 2017 and 2019) while winning the MLS Cup and the Supporters’ Shield in 2017 and winning three consecutive Canadian Championships (2016, 2017 and 2018). Fuelled by this unprecedented success, he recently agreed a five-year contract extension that will see him remain at the helm of both organizations through the 2025 Major League Soccer and Canadian Football League seasons.

A two-time MLS Executive of the Year, Manning is one of the most successful executives in MLS history having achieved great success with Real Salt Lake, where he spent eight seasons as president of both Real Salt Lake (RSL) and Rio Tinto Stadium before joining TFC.

During his time with RSL, Manning transformed the Club into a winner, leading the organization to a 2009 MLS Cup championship, as well as making it a model franchise off the pitch with both season tickets and sponsorships more than tripling.

The Club also won the Eastern Conference title (2009), Western Conference title (2013) and were MLS Cup runners-up (2013) and CONCACAF Champions League runners-up (2011). Manning was the recipient of the Major League Soccer Doug Hamilton Executive of the Year award in both 2012 and 2014. In addition, he helped establish, open and sold naming rights to Rio Tinto Stadium, home to Real Salt Lake.

Manning brings a wealth of sports management experience to MLSE having previously served in executive positions with the National Football League’s Philadelphia Eagles, the National Basketball Association’s Houston Rockets and Real Salt Lake of MLS.

A native of Massapequa, New York, Manning played soccer for the University of Bridgeport where he helped the Purple Knights to an NCAA Quarterfinal berth.  Following that, Manning led his team to a final four appearance while earning first team All-American honours in 1986.  Manning continued playing after college and won a US Open Cup with the Brooklyn Italians in 1991.  He played professionally in the United Soccer League with Penn-Jersey Spirit, Valley Golden Eagles and New York Fever.

Manning began his career in sports management with the Continental Indoor Soccer League during its inaugural season in 1993. After his last season with the Fever, he went on to leadership roles in the United Soccer League with the Long Island Rough Riders and then the Minnesota Thunder where he was named USL Executive of the Year in 1999 following their championship season. Manning got his start in MLS in 2000 with the Tampa Bay Mutiny as President and General Manager and was named 2000 MLS Executive of the Year by the Washington Post.

Manning received his Bachelor of Science degree (1987) and Masters in Business Administration (1989) from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, where he was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2006.

Manning and his wife, Jennifer, reside in Toronto with their sons John and Will.