Chuck Bodak's Bio


At age 13 years, Vasil "Chuck" Bodak fiercely began to pursue his dream when he began to box at Schonfield's Atheletic Club. The club was started for Gary's youth by Department Store owner, Jack Schonfield.
Now 82 years old and in fantastic health,Chuck loves what he is doing. His work is not only his livelihood and pleasure,it is his purpose.
Chuck was born June 3,1916 in Gary,Indiana. The third of nine children of immigrant parents. The Bodak youngsters were taught early to do their best and always help others. With disciplined intensity, Chuck boxed for several years and then began to teach others to reach the edge of their potential in a demanding sport.
While still at Froebel high school, the track and football star learned more about boxing under the tutelege of Mickey Dudak,Golden Glove and AAU champion. Dudak coached for the Gary CYO at the Settlement House on 15th and Van Buren.
During his amateur career,Chuck had 104 fight and was runner up to Frankie Judge of Gary in the 1934 Gary Post Tribune Golden Gloves match,welter-weight division. He never turned professional.
The War came and Chuck enlisted in the army in 1942.
In 1946 he returned to Gary and became assistant boxing coach under Dudak at the Gary CYO located in the KC building on 5th and Madison.
In 1948, Gary Fire Chief, Joe Zale saw the need for another gym. There were 40 to 50 fighters who showed up at the CYO each night hoping to box in the popular program. There was only one ring. Zale convinced the CYO Board to open the gym at 32 E. Ridge Road, in Glen Park. Chuck became head coach and Recreation Director. Art Andrews, former Golden Gloves champion who turned professional, became the assistant coach. Together, they produced 37 novice and open Golden Glove champs.
In 1958 boxing was discontinued in the Gary CYO.
Chuck went to Chicago, serving on the staff of the CYO there for over 20 years. He turned out numerous Golden Glove champions. During that time, he also coached for the Chicago Tribune charities,Inner City and International teams.
In 1959, he was head coach for the Pan American games which were held in Chicago. His team won a Gold Medal.
Chuck also represented the U.S. State Department as one of the coaches of several boxing clinics which were held in 9 African nations.
A year in Las Vegas training light weight champion Johnny Lira was followed by 4 years with Muhammed Ali. Chuck coached Ali's amateur boxing team. He was with the champ during his Golden Glove days as well as his professional days.
During the 80's Chuck coached the World Fighters Inc. in Orange,Ca.,owned by Dick and Ray Marconi. He also served as assistant coach for the Olympic regionals.
Combining his years of expertise as well as enjoyment in the boxing world,Chuck authored a book which he titled "Boxing Basics". In it he covered all aspects of training and boxing fundamentals, boxing techniques and ring psychology.
Chuck has been working as cut man in the corner of numerous World Boxing champions, among them Oscar De La Hoya, Julio Cesar Chavez, Evander Holyfield and Azumah Nelson.
"Mastering boxing builds both a strong body and a strong character," says Chuck. "Most importantly, in striving to reach your goals, you are also laying the foundation for a happy and successful life".
With humor,love,compassion,guts and plain orneriness, Chuck has followed his dream which has led to success "unexpected in common places".

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