St Helens StarMinichiello named coach of the year (From St Helens Star)

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Minichiello named coach of the year

St Helens Star: Toni Minichiello was named UK Coach of the Year at the UK Coaching Awards 2012 Toni Minichiello was named UK Coach of the Year at the UK Coaching Awards 2012

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. 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.

Eriksson coached Hannah Cockroft to golds in the T34 100m and 200m at the London 2012 Paralympics - where she broke Paralympic records in both races. Cockroft dominated the sprint events in 2012 and twice rewrote her own 100m world record as well as setting four new world records over 200m.

Bannon has coached McIlroy, a US PGA champion, since he was seven years old. He combined his role of coaching golf to club members and the surrounding local community with the task of nurturing the up-and-coming McIlroy.

Bannon has been credited with bringing McIlroy back to his top form to win the US PGA Championship by a record eight shots and become the first golfer to win back-to-back tournaments on the US PGA Tour since Tiger Woods in 2009.

Former cyclist Manning, a gold medallist at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in the team pursuit, was also named as High-Performance Coach of the Year. He entered coaching following a successful track cycling career.

He has steered the women's endurance podium riders to a string of world records and titles including Olympic and UCI Track World Championships gold for Dani King, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott in the women's team pursuit and for Trott in the Omnium race.

A series of mentors who helped guide triathlon brothers Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee along the road to Olympic success stretching back to when they were schoolboys won the Coaching Chain: Appreciation of Coaching Award. The Brownlees won gold and bronze at London 2012.

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