USA Boxing announced today the 13 staff members who will guide Team USA through the leadup and during this summer’s Olympic Games Tokyo.
Billy Walsh (Colorado Springs, Colo.) will lead the Americans as USA Boxing’s Head Coach with National Strength and Conditioning Coach Jose Polanco (Colorado Springs, Colo.), as well as assistant coaches Joe Guzman (Buckeye, Ariz.) and Jeff Mays (San Antonio, Texas) in Tokyo. Tim Back (Cincinnati, Ohio), Marc Gargaro (Newton, Mass) and Christine Lopez (Rowlett, Texas) will serve as unaccredited assistant coaches to support the team during its acclimation camp in Miyazaki, Japan and throughout the Olympic Games. Additional staffing is listed below.
“Throughout the last five years, we have continued to build a world class team behind the team for our high performance boxers,” stated Matt Johnson, USA Boxing High Performance Director. “The staff who will be supporting our team in Japan this summer has been working within our program throughout the past quad and are well prepared to guide our team to the top of the podium.”
Head Coach Walsh will lead the American delegation for a second Olympic Games after guiding Team USA to 3 Olympic medals in 2016. Walsh, who represented his home country of Ireland in Seoul in 1988, will be coaching in his fifth Olympic Games after leading Team Ireland in 2004, 2008 and 2012. The 2016 AIBA Coach of the Year took charge of USA Boxing in 2015 and has served as the team’s head coach for every international elite event since.
Polanco has worked with USA Boxing since 2016 and will be serving as the team’s strength and conditioning coach for the second straight Games. The Bridgewater State University graduate has served in this role with Team USA at every international elite event since joining USA Boxing, working in close collaboration with the team dietitian and sports medicine staff to maximize overall boxer preparation.
Guzman brings 13 years of coaching experience to Team USA, where he spent seven of those years serving as the Assistant Coach of the U.S. Army’s World Class Athlete Program. An assistant coach during the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, these Olympics will be the first Games he will serve as an accredited Olympic coach. Guzman has helped guide USA Boxing at numerous international events, including World Championships and Pan American Games, during his time as part of USA Boxing’s high performance coaching staff that began in 2009.
Mays has served as a high performance coach with USA Boxing since 2017 and brings over 15 years’ coaching experience to the team. Mays has not only helped coach Team USA at international events, such as the Pan American Games and World Championships, he has coached many of his own boxers to top finishes at USA Boxing national events. Mays also served as the Assistant Head Coach for the West Point Boxing Team for five years.
Back joined USA Boxing’s high performance staff in 2017 and has been a coach with USA Boxing for 11 years. Over the years, Back has worked with both youth and elite division boxers at numerous international competitions, as well as coaching his own boxers at the amateur and professional levels in Ohio.
Gargaro began coaching in 2009 and became a high performance coach in 2017. The boxer turned coach has not only helped with Team USA but has guided his own boxers to success at the national stage and onto USA Boxing’s high performance teams.
Lopez, who joined the high performance staff in 2018, has been a registered USA Boxing coach since 2007, and has supported Team USA at numerous training camps and international competitions leading into this summer’s Olympic Games, all while having success with her own boxing club in Texas.
Additional staff during the training camp, as well as during the Games, will be Athletic Trainer Kevin Kotsko (Pittsburg, Pa.), Nutritionist Taylor Maggio (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Team Psychologist Chris Bader (Colorado Springs, Colo.).
National Office staff traveling to Tokyo include Johnson (Colorado Springs, Colo.) who will serve as Team Leader, the same role he served for the team in 2016, with Liz Podominick (Lakeville, Minn.) joining him as the Assistant Team Leader. Brian Taylor (Whiteville, N.C.) will be USA Boxing’s Press Officer during the Games.