The USA Boxing Olympic head coach and assistant coaches to be selected in just few hours.
The Board of Directors of USA Boxing is meeting tonight and in its hands are the final list made by the USA Boxing Coaches Task Force, headed by Joe Zanders.
The selection of the Olympic coach and assistants has been a real nightmare for everyone involved with the sport, and at only a month from the Games, and a hours away for the boxers from arriving at the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs, the coaching was a mystery.
Everyone who cares for the boxers, and not for the politics that unfortunately have been involved in this selection, aim for the best coaches for a great team.
The list for head coach has two names; Basheer Abdullah and Candelario (Candy) Lopez. Both of these coaches have been in past Olympic games. López in 2000 as an assitant coach and Abdullah was the head coach in 2004. Both coaches have worked with women boxers. Abdullah was the head coach for the Worlds in 2010 and 2012. And Lopez has coached several boxers, among them former national champion Jessica Ponce in 2011.
The names for assistant coaches are, Israel Acosta from Milwaukee, Anthony Chase, from Georgia, Christy Halbert, from Nashville and Gloria Peek, from Norfolk.
Acosta recently was a head coach in the Women’s Continentals and assistant coach in Olympics 2000. Christy Halbert is perhaps the only women’s coach who knows more about the Olympic women style, knows almost all the top boxers in the world and is the head of the USA Boxing Women’s Task Force, AIBA Taskforce and had coached several of the AIBA camps for developing countries. Chase has been in the corner of many top rank boxers. Peek has been in boxing for long time, and recently, since the selection of Joe Zanders, she has been traveling with the women to several important tournaments, such as the PanAmericans, Continentals and recently to the World’s in China.
I have seen all of these coaches working in and out the corner with their boxers and from my experience following the women for more than two years, I know who needs to be selected. But that its not my job and I only hope that tonight the USA Boxing Board and Anthony Bartkowsky, as an executive Director, make the best decision, not through politics, but in favor of the great athletes this country will take to London.