Northern California Coach of the Year: Virgil Hunter
Whether you agree with his training or cornering at all times, Virgil Hunter outwitted both Abel Sanchez and John David Jackson in one calendar year with his fighter Andre Ward as well as a stunning Andre Berto KO over Victor Ortiz and taking on new talent in his gym such as Mario Barrios and Andrzej Fonfara.
You can poke holes in Hunter’s year saying that his fighter, Amir Khan, was brutally knocked out by Canelo Alvarez, but that is short sided as Khan overachieved in the fight against Canelo, in which he moved up two weights classes.
Hunter, who is known for his motivational talks in the corner inspired Ward to victory over Sergey Kovalev as well as put together an impressive outing for the better part of the year to pick up the distinction. Hunter equated Ward to the great boxers of years past and finished with Andre Ward’s name, a moment in which Ward looked at Hunter and seemingly motivated him to pick it up in the fight. Some have even said that Jackson was too technical in the fight and didn’t motivate Kovalev enough.
Hunter, who is the face of the linage of Oakland boxing is surrounded by talent with in the gym as Cut man Don, Eddie Croft and OG Bobby Warren make a part of the fabric of the gym he runs in Hayward, California.