TONI Minichiello, the mastermind behind heptathlete Jessica Ennis’s Olympic gold medal-winning success, has been named 2012 UK Coach of the Year.
He was also among four coaches - alongside Rory McIlroy’s coach Michael Bannon, Peter Eriksson, the new head coach at UK Athletics, and women’s endurance track cycling coach Paul Manning - who were jointly named as the High-Performance Coach of the Year at the UK Coaching Awards 2012.
In a year crowded with home-grown success at the London 2012 Games, the panel decided to make multiple awards in this category.
Sheffield-born former All Saints School student Minichiello helped Ennis to gold in the Olympics, where she clocked a British points record of 6,955 and set the fastest-ever heptathlon time in the 100m hurdles.
He started coaching in the mid-1990s and is a former national event coach for combined events, before switching roles in 2010 to become a UK Athletics Olympic coach and focusing on Ennis, who in 2009 had become heptathlon world champion.
However, he has yet to sign a new contract to coach Ennis in 2013. His current deal with UK Athletics runs out at the end of the year.