South Florida is a huge sports market with everything from baseball to basketball, to jai alai, to pickleball. Covering all this could be a difficult task. But for Will Manso, it’s a passion.
It’s also a dream come true for a Cuban-American kid raised in South Florida who, for the last 20-plus years, has covered the teams he grew up watching.
Manso was born in New Jersey but moved to South Florida as a child. He went to high school in West Palm Beach and then college at the University of Miami. He joined the sports staff at WPLG Channel 10 in 1999 and now also works for Bally Sports as a sideline reporter during Miami Heat home games.
But his path to sportscasting in the 16th largest market in the country wasn’t easy and included some small market stops.
Manso played baseball growing up.
“It’s the only sport my dad would allow me to play. It was my first love. I started playing at 5 years old and didn’t stop until I was 19,” Manso said.
He attended Forest Hill High School in West Palm Beach. He played third base and shortstop for the varsity team.
In journalism, “my journey started at college,” Manso said. “My first television job was as a weekend sports anchor/reporter in Missoula, Montana.”
That small Montana station helped Manso learn plenty of the skills he has now as a successful reporter.
“I had to do everything. I had to shoot stories on my own camera, I had to write, edit things, produce my own shows, obviously anchor and report,” Manso said. “Those lessons, as you get older and go to different places, you find out that they are important because more than ever now, stations and companies are looking for people that can do it all.”
Next stop: Battle Creek, Michigan.
A mere nine months later, Manso got offered a job at WPLG Channel 10. He was 24.
“I got lucky, and I was able to get back to Miami, like South Florida where I grew up,” Manso said.
Manso’s work ethic is a key to his success, said Ian Margol, a colleague at Channel 10.
“Manso is one of the hardest workers you’ll ever meet in the sports broadcasting industry,” Margol said. “On top of his work for Local 10 covering the major sports teams here in our area, he also does an incredible job as a broadcaster for the Miami Heat. Even with all of that on his plate, he still finds time to make sure he’s being a great dad to his kids. Just a truly remarkable guy through and through.”
Despite his love for his work, it isn’t easy.
“You are away from your family, you have to travel, so over time —while it is exciting at first— over time it gets tiring,” Manso said. “Look at the Heat’s playoffs. I had to go, and I loved it, but I was exhausted and I missed my family. I had to go to all the series.”
Even then, Manso said he would not trade this job for anything else in the world.
David Lang, an executive sports producer at WPLG, said Manso has made his mark on the South Florida sports scene.
“He has been embedded in every big story we have covered. From the Heat championships to the Marlin championship, the Heat going to China, all the Dolphins changes and wild times, he has been through all of it,” Lang said.