USA Judo Lifetime Achievement Award
Willy Cahill has been an assistant U.S. Olympic Judo coach twice and a U.S. Paralympic Judo coach twice. At the 2000 Paralympic Games, the U.S. Team took two gold medals, the first for the nation. His San Bruno dojo has consistently produced some of the nation’s most accomplished judoka, including more than a thousand state, national and international medalists. Among those are Olympic silver medalist Lynn Roethke, 1984 Olympian Brett Barron, who was Cahill’s student, and women’s Olympic Judo Team Coach Corinne Shigemoto, now USA Judo’s Chief Operating Officer. Cahill is also a co-founder and CEO of the Blind Judo Foundation, which promotes the sport for the visually impaired.
When Cahill was assistant coach of the 1984 Olympic Team, Eddie Liddie took bronze and Robert Berland took silver. When Cahill was assistant coach of the 1988 Men’s Olympic Team, Kevin Asano took silver and Mike Swain took bronze. Raul Tamayo, another Cahill student, went on to coach the 2008 U.S. Paralympic Team in Beijing.
Cahill traces his roots in judo to his father, Professor John Cahill Sr., who studied jujitsu under acclaimed instructor Henry S. Okazaki in Hawaii, and then founded the first Cahill’s Judo Academy in Daly City in 1948.
Cahill Sr. passed away in 1962 at the age of 50. The next year, Willy Cahill built a new dojo in San Bruno, CA, in his father’s honor. It is from his dojo that so many accomplished elite judoka have come.
Recently, Cahill was interviewed alongside student Jordan Mouton in the Youtube documentary series, “Blind Judoka,” which detailed the athlete’s journey toward the 2012 Paralympic Games in London and the injury that forced her to withdraw. To see the films, go tohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fe6hCuacQmI.