Rob McCracken MBE, Performance Director

Rob McCracken MBE is the Performance Director of GB Boxing and has responsibility for all aspects of performance and the success of the Podium and Academy squads.

Since he was appointed in November 2009, GB Boxing has witnessed a period of unprecedented success which has seen men and women from the squad win just over 100 medals at 33 major international competitions.  This includes three Olympic cycles (London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020) where Great Britain have won 14 medals, 6 of which have been gold.

As Performance Director, Rob leads a Performance Team of more than 30 people made-up of full-time time Podium coaches, part-time Performance coaches and sport science and medical experts, some of which are contracted from the English Institute of Sport.

Before taking on the role of Performance Director, Rob worked as a boxing coach and was a consultant to GB Boxing.  As a professional coach, he was best known for his role with three-time world super-middleweight champion, Carl Froch, whom Rob trained throughout his career as well as former GB Boxer, Anthony Joshua .

Prior to coaching, Rob was a boxer who represented Great Britain as an amateur and went on to win 33 of his 35 bouts as a professional.   He boxed for the WBC middleweight world title in 1995 and held British and Commonwealth titles before retiring in 2001 to embark on his career as a coach.

In 2010 he was nominated for the award of’ High Performance Coach of the Year’ by sports coach UK.  Following the boxing team’s success at the London Olympics he was awarded an MBE in the 2012 New Year honours list. He was then handed a CBE in 2022 for services to boxing following the record breaking performance at Tokyo 2020 where Britain won the most boxing medals since 1920.

Dave Alloway, World Class Podium Coach 

Dave has worked full-time with the World Class Programme since 2009 and has been an integral part of the team that has delivered 14 Olympic medals across three cycles, including the team history-making performance at Tokyo 2020 where Great Britain won the most boxing medals since 1920. In October 2012, he was named Best Coach of the Year by the International governing body for boxing, AIBA, in its Annual Awards.  Dave also coaches the British Lionhearts team that participates in the World Series of Boxing.

Before becoming a full-time GB Boxing coach, Dave was England Boxing’s regional coach for the Home Counties and worked as a Great Britain and England coach for ten years, attending Commonwealth Games and world and European Championships.  He was head coach at Bracknell Boys Club for 26 years where he helped to develop a number of school and junior champions.

Lee Pullen, World Class Podium Coach 

Lee has worked full-time with the GB Boxing squad since March 2010 and coached the boxers throughout the build-up to the 2012, 2016 and 2020 Olympics which has seen boxers from the squad earn 14 medals.

Before this, Lee worked part-time coaching boxers that competed for Great Britain and, over a 10 year period, he worked with numerous boxers that went on to be Olympic and world Championship medallists including Frankie Gavin, Tony Jeffries, Audley Harrison and Amir Khan.   Lee has been a coach for more than 20 years and started out at Folkestone Boxing Club in Kent.  He also boxed for England as an amateur.

Most recently, and alongside his usual duties, he has worked with Tokyo 2020 medallists Lauren Price and Karris Artingstall in the professional ranks as part of the Podium2Pro programme first introduced by GB Boxing in 2022.

Gary Hale, World Class Podium Coach 

Gary has been coaching for over 20 years at Hollington ABC and Lynn ABC in London where he has worked with numerous champions.  He has been involved with the Great Britain set-up since 2003 and was appointed a full-time coach in 2014.  He also works with the British Lionhearts team that competes in the World Series of Boxing.  In 2015, he completed UK Sport’s Elite Coaching Apprenticeship Programme (ECAP).

Alongside his work with the Podium squad which has seen him travel to two Olympics Games, Gary also supports Tokyo 2020 medallists Lauren Price and Karriss Artingstall in the professional ranks as part of GB Boxing’s Podium2Pro programme which was introduced in 2022.

Graham Alderson, World Class Podium Coach 

Graham began coaching just over 20 years ago when serving in the Royal Marines where he looked after the Royal Navy and Combined Services teams. This then progressed to becoming a regional coach for England between the years of 2006-2012 which led to a coaching assessment with GB Boxing where he was given the opportunity to become a Performance Coach, a position he held until 2018 when he was appointed as a World Class Podium Coach, and for a period, was Head of the academy (formerly Podium Potential) programme.

With Paris 2024 around the corner, Graham is now in his third Olympic cycle as a GB Boxing coach having travelled with the team at both Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

Paul Bennett, World Class Podium Coach 

Paul began coaching at Kirkby ABC in 2000 and remained there until 2011 when he became Head Coach at Towerhill ABC in Liverpool. He has worked with England Boxing since 2012 and spent two years as the national team coach from 2015.

Either side of this, Bennett has had two spells as a part-time GB Boxing Performance Coach from 2013 to 2015 and again from 2017 onwards. In this role, he was part of the coaching team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, when boxers from Great Britain won six medals.

Ahead of Paris 2024, Paul was appointed as a full-time podium coach in September 2022.

Darren Maher, World Class Podium Coach 

As an amateur, Darren competed for Knowsley Vale ABC in Liverpool and Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Commandos, and it was at the latter where he first took up coaching.  After leaving the forces in 2000, he coached at Knowsley Vale ABC for over 20 years eventually becoming Head Coach.

He worked with England Boxing from 2007 to 2012 and was appointed one of GB Boxing’s part-time Performance Coaches in 2013.  In his coaching career, Maher has worked with numerous national amateur champions, including Robbie Davies Jr, who went on to win British, Commonwealth and European titles as a professional. In 2022 was appointed as a World Class Podium coach.

Phil Sellers, World Class Podium Coach 

Phil boxed as an amateur for Burmantofts ABC in Leeds up until the age of 23 when he took on the role of Head Coach to help prevent the club from closure following the death of the previous incumbent in 1993. During his tenure he developed a number of national amateur champions, including Jack Bateson and Conor Loftus, who both went on to become part of the GB Boxing squad.

Sellers was appointed a part-time GB Boxing Performance Coach in 2013 and in 2016 he attended the Rio Olympics as part of the British Olympic Association’s (BOA) Ambition Programme.

In 2021 he was the lead coach of the GB Boxing team that competed at the European U22 Championships in Italy where Gemma Richardson and Harris Akbar won gold and bronze respectively and as of 2022 has been a full-time employee as a World Class Podium coach.

Richie Woodhall, Coaching Consultant

Richie has been a coaching consultant to the GB Boxing programme since 2008 and works with the squad for two-days-per week.  A former boxer, he won titles as both an amateur and a professional.  He won a bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics and Gold at Commonwealth Games in 1990 before going on to become WBC Super-middleweight champion in 1998.

Richie retired from the ring in 2000 and now works as a coach and broadcaster, and has provided commentary and analysis on boxing for BBC, BT Sport, TNT Sport, ESPN, Channel 5 and a variety of other outlets.

Away from sport, Richie has a few acting credits, most notably acting a body double for Brad Pitt in Guy Richie’s 2000 picture, Snatch.

Performance Coaches

GB Boxing’s core coaching team is supported by a group of part-time Performance Coaches that provide support across the entire World Class Performance Programme (WCPP) and work with boxers from the Emerging Talent Programme and the Podium Potential group as well as the men and women’s Podium squad.

The Performance Coaches are mentored by the Senior Podium Coaches and their role involves working with the boxers at GB Boxing’s training facility in Sheffield and travelling to overseas training camps and tournaments with teams to build-up their knowledge of international boxing and competitions.  This approach ensures that GB Boxing is providing on-going learning and development opportunities for the next generation of coaches within the pathway.