Joe Lake has trained world champions during his incredible four-decade career in the sport of boxing.
Lake, 65, is beginning a new chapter as the head coach of the Harvard Boxing Club. Yes, one of the world’s most renowned trainers is coaching at one of the world’s most prestigious universities.
Lake, who is the Revere clerk of public works infrastructure project manager, has been working with Harvard students at two-hour training sessions three days a week at the Malkin Athletic Center in Cambridge. He is being assisted by Bob Judge.
“I am honored to be coaching at Harvard,” said Lake, who played football at Revere High School before becoming an amateur boxer. “It’s a dream job for me. I am in awe of the facilities. The students I’m meeting on the club team are from all over the world. They couldn’t be more respectful or nicer and willing to learn. We have some really good athletes here, some of whom compete in other sports at Harvard.”
Lake is encouraged by the dedication and commitment of his boxers at Harvard. He hopes to schedule some competitions so his athletes can test their skills in an actual bout.
“Our eventual goal is to join the National Collegiate Boxing Association (NCBA),” said Lake. “This spring we hope to compete in an exhibition. The long-range goal is to bring the club back to its glory days.”
Knowing Joe Lake’s esteemed record of success, the Harvard Boxing Club will be the king of the collegiate ring, matching the school’s No. 1 academic ranking in the nation.
Harvard students have welcomed Joe Lake to the Club and praised his experience and knowledge of boxing. Following are their comments:
Club President Leo Barrera
Leo Barrera, valedictorian of his Brooklyn-based charter high school graduating class, began boxing as a freshman in high school. He has been instrumental in keeping the Harvard Boxing Club alive during his four years at the college.
He said the appointment of Joe Lake as head coach ushers in a new era for the club.
“With 50-plus years of experience in boxing with Coach Lake, you bring in not just fresh energy, but people can start a career here if they want to go into amateur boxing or professional boxing,” said Barrera. “To have somebody with the knowledge and resume of Coach Lake, he’s exactly what we needed. Our club membership has been growing with each practice.”
Harvard Senior Luis Esteva Sueiro
Luis Esteva Sueiro, who attended high school in northern California, said, “Some people might assume that Harvard and boxing don’t go together, but Harvard actually has a really long history of boxing. The club was founded in the late 1850s and we have alums such as JFK [President John Fitzgerald Kennedy] and [President] Teddy Roosevelt, who was an avid boxer. Even though it’s a little bit more under the radar now, Harvard has a really long history of boxing, and we’re looking forward to bringing that back.”
Esteva Sueiro said he’s excited to have Joe Lake on board as the head coach.
“It’s been phenomenal,” said Esteva Sueiro. “We’ve had a couple of practices with Coach Lake, and he’s brought an energy to the program that’s irreplaceable. He’s brought a level of technical knowledge that frankly I do not have, that’s really allowing our more advanced fighters to progress as well. Coach Lake has been great at motivating learners of all levels. We can tell that there’s a lot of interest and excitement behind the club.”
Esteva Sueiro is enrolled in the Harvard ROTC program and will be entering the U.S. Army as an Infantry Officer.
Harvard Divinity School Graduate Student and HBC Adviser Mario Cader-Frech
Mario Cader-Frech brings an amazing resume to his studies as a graduate student at Harvard Divinity School. Born in El Salvador, he came to the United States in 1979 and holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from LSU and Georgetown. He is the former senior vice president of social responsibility at ViacomCBS in charge of producing more than 120 global campaigns in 180 countries. He is currently an independent documentary film maker.
Cader-Frech is also a generous donor and adviser to the Harvard Boxing Club. He trains in boxing under coach Matteo Papa in Miami.
It was Cader-Frech who approached Lake about becoming the boxing coach at Harvard.
“Joe Lake came highly recommended by people who are in the personal training world in Boston,” said Cader-Frech. “Once I read Joe’s bio, I was so impressed that I thought we would only be very lucky to bring a coach like Joe Lake to the Harvard Club. Participation in the club has been increasing, so that tells you that Joe Lake is known by the students as well.”