Sports & Recreation

Team Player: Will Porter

Will Porter x’12 is a humble guy.

Will Porter

Photo: Jeff Miller

Despite winning the New York State Rowing Championships three out of four years while in high school, being victorious in the high school division of the Head of the Charles race (one of the most prestigious regattas in all of competitive rowing), and posting an undefeated fall season as a UW senior, Porter says his strong-est motivation has been the chance to contribute to the UW rowing team.

“It’s one of the best in the nation,” says Porter, “so being a good player on this team would be a pretty good accomplishment.”

He’s certainly had that chance. As a sophomore and junior, Porter was a member of the men’s heavyweight team that won the Eastern Sprints (the league championship in which the UW competes), and his boat — the men’s varsity four-plus — finished third in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association national championships in 2009.

In addition, Porter has won about thirty-five shirts. In collegiate rowing, teams win these symbols of success when they defeat an opposing team and literally collect the shirts off the opponents’ backs, a tradition that combines good sportsmanship and innocent wagering between teams.

Although Porter stands six-foot-three and has the build of a football player, he never played that or any other fall sport as a kid. The summer before his freshman year in high school, he took up rowing and eventually attended a rowing camp, sticking with the sport for the past eight years.

His choice to come to Wisconsin — despite plenty of schools with rowing teams much nearer to his home on the East Coast — was an easy one, says Porter. When he visited Madison for the first time, he recalls, he immediately “fell in love with it.”

To describe his UW rowing experience, Porter needs only a few words: “It’s been awesome.”

Published in the Spring 2011 issue


  • Eileen Williamson March 2, 2011

    Beautiful write-up; congratulations on a job well done, Will!
    You’ve worked hard, and the accolades are well-deserved. Most of all, you are as “awesome!” as your experiences have been!
    Love, Aunt Eileen and Uncle Russ

  • Susan Raab March 2, 2011

    Dedication, determination, and discipline… you’re a great example to us all. You’ll always have these wonderful memories, and the confidence they instill. Congratulations, Will!

    Aunt Susan and Uncle Frank

  • Dad March 2, 2011

    Great article Will, and very well deserved.

    You have done a great job throughout your career and you should be very proud of all you have accomplished…I know I am!!

    Kepp up the good work, good luck in this your senior season, and ON WISCONSIN!!


  • Matt Malone March 2, 2011

    Will, wonderful article. We are so proud of you and all you have accomplished at Wisconsin.

    All the best this season to you and your crew. Go Badgers!


    Matt, Michelle, Tommy, James and Billy

  • Kathy Lyons March 2, 2011

    Will, What a wonderful article highlighting your success with crew and your love of Wisconsin U. We’re so proud of you and are very happy that your college experience has been so wonderful. Clearly your choices of crew and Wisconin were the right ones.
    We love you, Aunt Kathy and Uncle Jack
    p.s. you look great in the picture…… is that J.Crew calling?????

  • Joanne Malone March 3, 2011

    Will, this is a terrific article and so well deserved! We appreciate all the hard work and determination that goes into being a successful collegiate athlete. Wisconsin is very fortunate to have Will Porter on their crew team! The best to you and your team in your senior season!

    Love, Aunt Joanne and Uncle Dick

  • Beth Gregor March 3, 2011

    Will, what a great article! (and picture!) You have worked very hard over the last few years and we have thoroughly enjoyed following your success. Wishing you and your team a winning season!
    Beth, Ben, Jeffrey and Caroline

  • Irene Hawxhurst March 14, 2011

    Will, We can’t believe four years have passed so quickly and your accomplishment are one’s you and the Wisco team should be very proud of. Great article! Best of luck this season and we can’t wait to see you this Spring!

    The Hawxhurst Family

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