Former Wing Open and NCBA national champion Blake Baldi is in his second season as the head coach of the Air Force boxing team. Baldi, a 2005 Academy graduate who previously spent four seasons as an assistant coach with the Falcons, is just the third head coach in the NCBA-era history of the boxing program.
"I am honored and humbled to join the staff of a great institution as it prepares young men and women for service to our country," Baldi said upon his hiring in May 2015. "It will be my pleasure to lead this exemplary program into the future with a dedication to cadet development and success in competition."
Baldi comes to the Academy from USA Boxing, where he had served as a high performance associate and national team manager since September of 2014. He was responsible for strategic level athlete development and preparation for the 2015 World Championships and 2016 Olympic Games. In addition, he managed team travel and coordinated athlete preparation for over 30 boxers competing in 14 different competitions in eight countries.
He worked with elite male and female boxers at USA Boxing. He was the manager of the USA Knockouts, a World Series of Boxing team which qualified six men for the 2015 Pan American Games. In addition, Baldi earned an International Boxing Association 1-Star coaching certification, which allows coaching at international events.
Baldi was an assistant boxing coach and physical education instructor at Air Force from 2008-12. During his first stint at the Academy, Baldi helped lead the Falcons to a National Collegiate Boxing Association (NCBA) team title in 2012, while coaching 11 individual national champions and 40 NCBA All-Americans. Also serving as the deputy chief of intramurals and an executive officer, Baldi was named the Outstanding Academy Educator for the athletic department in 2010.
Following his first term at the Academy, Baldi was the assigned to the Eighth Communications Squadron, Eighth Fighter Wing at Kansan Air Base, in the Republic of Korea from August 2012 to August 2013, as the commander of the operations flight. He was responsible for directing operations and providing air traffic control and landing systems capabilities to the wing. Baldi was named Company Grade Officer of the Quarter while stationed there. He left military service after this assignment.
Baldi's military career began in 2005 at Charleston AFB, S.C., where he was the officer-in-charge of the combat camera element.
As a cadet, Baldi claimed the Wing Open and NCBA titles in the 147-pound weight division, while leading Air Force to a runner-up team finish at the NCBA Championships. In addition to his bachelor's degree in management from the Academy, Baldi earned a master of education degree, with distinction, from DePaul in 2014.