Coach Rich Stephenson:
Coach Rich “Cacique (Chief)” Stephenson is a USA Boxing High Performance Team Coach, a USA Boxing Silver level coach and a Certified Professional Cutman who has been coaching since 2009.
Coach Rich served in the Army active duty from January 2001-January 2005 and 10 more years in the Army Reserve. He entered as a PFC (Private First Class) and left as a CW2 (Chief Warrant Officer 2, this is the source of his nickname “Chief”).
While in active-duty service, he did 3 tours to the middle east (Iraq 2x and 1x Kuwait). During active-duty service he found himself participating in various boxing smokers (unsanctioned bouts fought between soldiers). Upon exiting active-duty Army, Richard returned home to New York, and joined a local boxing gym. In 2007, at age 27, Rich knew that he was boxing, not for a career, but to gain valuable experience to later pass on as a coach. He competed in the amateurs on and off between his reservist obligations until 2014 where he was hit by a pickup truck while riding his motorcycle. Breaking multiple bones in his effectively ended his career as an amateur boxer.
In 2017, he received his first coaching assignment, as the Head coach of the Women’s Boxing team at West Point. While at this assignment, Created, and employed a multi-tier collegiate boxing program for 18 cadets that culminated to a NCBA (National Collegiate Boxing Association) National championship, with 4 individual national champions.
At West Point, along with competition, Rich helped Cadets develop character, and leadership characteristics through boxing to better prepare cadets for their transition from cadet to U.S. Army leaders.
In 2018, Rich started Breathing Boxing Gym, where he currently coaches, and competes at local to national levels. In 2020, one of his pupils won the USA Boxing Junior National championship. He has worked with and assisted multiple national champion level boxers.
Coach Rich benefits and continues to learn from a very strong team of mentors in Coach Jeff Mays, Coach Chad Wigle, and world renowned cutman Joe Clifford, among a few others.