Carnegie Mellon University
August 17, 2023

Boundless Bouncing

By Amanda S.F. Hartle and Eric Hoffman

For Carnegie Mellon University alumnus Will Weiner, his most future-impacting moment on campus happened as a first-year during a Scotch'n'Soda Theatre rehearsal.

“I met a junior named Nick Ryan, and through him, I learned about this weird extreme pogo thing,” says Will, who graduated from Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2013 with bachelor’s degrees in economics and statistics and decision science.

“I thought, ‘Who are they, and why are they doing this? I want to be part of this.’”

Neary 15 years later, and after a few years as a project manager at IBM, Will’s now the chief executive officer of Xpogo. He took over organization’s helm from Nick, who graduated from Dietrich College in 2011 and Tepper School of Business in 2022.

Will’s full-time job is to “launch people deeper into the world of extreme pogo” and grow the sport driven by pneumatic air-powered sticks to new heights. 

“I have a business background, and I also understand the sport and culture — a perfect storm,” he says.

He also brings emceeing talents and engaging personality honed as a Tartan Ambassador leading tours on campus, First-Year Orientation counselor, WRCT sports director and Buggy play-by-play announcer — a role he still holds every Spring Carnival — to announcing for Xpogo during international events as far away as Japan and Sweden to the Pittsburgh-based World Championships of Pogo.

Known as Pogopalooza, the three days of competition welcome elite athletes from around the world to attempt to break Guinness World Records in high jump and compete for best trick.

Beyond that world-level event, Xpogo athletes have performed at the NBA All-Star Game and Calgary Stampede, as part of Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Sports Awards and recently on “Canada’s Got Talent.” They’ve also collaborated with noted partners like GoPro, Dude Perfect, Red Bull, Scholastic, NASCAR and Toyota.  

“It’s so cool. It’s undeniable,” Will says. “I very much lucked out in having a job that scratches all the same itches I had at CMU.”