Jessica Ennis's coach Toni Minichiello wins accolade

The man who trained Jessica Ennis to Olympic gold at London 2012 has been named coach of the year.

Antonio "Toni" Minichiello was honoured by Sports Coach UK, a body that supports sports training across the country.

He has coached Ennis in her native Sheffield since she was 11 years old.


"Toni Minichiello began coaching Jess Ennis when she was an 11-year-old schoolgirl trying out athletics in her summer holidays. Her Olympic triumph 15 years later was testament to both the enduring strength of their relationship and Minichiello's ability to tread that fine line between pushing his charge incredibly hard and keeping her injury-free in the most physically demanding event of all. He was the only Briton to coach a home star to an athletics gold in London. With Ennis still in her prime, further assaults on global titles are already being planned."

The nominees for the award included Team GB cycling coach Paul Manning and Jenny Archer, who trains six-times Paralympic gold-medallist David Weir.

Ennis's heptathlon triumph at London 2012 capped Team GB's "Super Saturday", in which six British competitors won gold.

Earlier in 2012, Minichiello coached Ennis to silver in the Indoor World Championships in Istanbul and a new British heptathlon record at the annual Hypo Meeting event in Götzis, Austria

She went on to smash that record at London 2012 with a score 6,995 points in the multi-discipline event.

Minichiello has said that the 26-year-old's best performances are still to come.

British Olympic Association chairman Lord Sebastian Coe recently described Minichiello as a "world-class" coach whose example could inspire continued success for British athletics.

His award comes at the end of what Sport Coach UK head judge Joslyn Hoyte Smith described as "an incredible season for sport in the UK".