A key factor in that turnaround is Billy Walsh, an easy-going 53-year-old native of Wexford, Ireland, who until last November was coaching his country’s national team.
In late 2014, seeking to bring in a new head coach with strong international experience, USA Boxing had approached Walsh, who in his 12 years at the helm had taken an Irish program that qualified just one boxer for the 2000 Games to seven Olympic medals and perennial honors in European and world championship tournaments.
“We did an international search,” says Michael Martino, executive director of USA Boxing, “and Billy Walsh was highly recommended. He had the experience, the temperament and the contacts and relationships throughout international amateur boxing.”
For his part Walsh—who began boxing at age seven in a Christian Brothers gym on Wexford Town’s Wolfe Tone Terrace and went on to represent Ireland as a welterweight in the 1988 Olympics—was intrigued. “I’d always said,” he recalls, “that if I ever left Ireland it would be for the sleeping giant of amateur boxing.”
….Martino is one of many now celebrating the results—even if mixing his sports metaphors in the process—saying, “I think we hit a homerun with Billy.”
*punches self in face*
Under Billy Walsh’s guidance, USA boxing experiencing a tremendous turnaround (Sports Illustrated)
Earlier: Meanwhile, In Rio
Previously: Billy Walsh on broadsheet
Top at Leinster House today from left: Kieran Mulvey Chairperson (Designate), Sport Ireland, John Treacy, Chief Executive, Sport Ireland, Bernard Allen Chairperson of the NGB Grants Committee, Irish Sports Council, Liam Sheedy, Chairperson of the High Performance Committee, Irish Sports Counci; Above: Billy Walsh (right) in US Boxing HQ in Colorado Springs yesterday
Following the kerfuffle surrounding the departure of Billy Walsh, Head Coach at the High Performance Unit of Irish Amateur Boxing Association, representatives of the IABA and Sport Ireland will appear before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport and Communications.
Watch here from 11am.
7 Photos That Irish Boxing Fans Just Didn’t Want To See (Balls.ie)
Previously: Sucker Punch
Irish Sports Council Chair Kieran Mulvey
Further to Irish boxing coach Billy Walsh’s resignation.
“We don’t operate on that basis. You have meetings weekly; monthly. Imagine an organisation that says to its chief coach – imagine Joe Schmidt being told he had to contact Philip Browne [chair of the IRFU] every time he selected a team or made a decision? Or (before) he could talk to the media. This is unconscionable and unacceptable.”
Kieran Mulvey, telling an Oireachtas committee this morning that the IABA association wanted to control all of Billy Walsh’s media appearances.
IABA to hold emergency meeting after Kieran Mulvey threat (Irish Times)
Previously: Counted Out
Billy Walsh (right), who has resigned as Irish boxing coach, with reporter Damien Tiernan (centre) and camera operator Neilus Dennehy of RTÉ in Wexford this afternoon
A statement from the Sports Council and Sports Minister Michael Ring concerning the resignation of Billy Walsh as coach to the Irish boxing team this morning.
Via Gavin Reilly
VIDEO: Walsh resigns as Irish boxing head coach (RTÉ)