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Cal’s Ed Nemir: A Coach for All Reasons

Coach Ed Nemir

In the 1950s, college boxing was a major sport at many colleges and universities. Their NCAA intercollegiate boxing matches drew over 10,000 people. Many coaches were recruiting experienced amateur boxers into their programs. But Cal (University of California, Berkeley) coach Ed Nemir refused to take this path. He insisted “college boxing is for college kids.” He put the sport into perspective and the “win at any cost” model that other colleges maintained was absent at Cal.

He was soft-spoken and modest. He never mentioned the amazing fact that he had been a championship boxer and wrestler at Cal and had won a silver medal in wrestling as a featherweight in the 1932 Olympics. He had also graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Cal and earned a law degree at Boalt Hall, Cal’s law school.

The Cal boxing program was a successful one. Many division champions came out of Ed’s program. And many of Ed’s students went on to become successful in their own careers using the principles they learned in his classes: hard work and perseverance.

The Cal boxing program continues to be successful, now under the able guidance of its current and longtime coach, Jim Ricksheim.

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