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USA Fencing Announces National Coaching Staff for 2017-2020

01/04/2017, 4:00pm CST
By Nicole Jomantas

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – On the heels of the U.S. Olympic Fencing Team’s successful four-medal Games in Rio, USA Fencing is pleased to announce that the USA Fencing National Team Coaching Staff has been selected to prepare Team USA for the Tokyo Games in 2020.

Among them, these coaches have led teams at a total of 16 Olympic Games and combine for more than a century of elite coaching experience.

Three-time Olympian Greg Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) has been at the helm of the U.S. Men’s Foil Team since 2011 and will return to the position of head coach for the upcoming quad. Under his tutelage, the program has achieved countless firsts, culminating in two podium finishes at the Rio Olympic Games. His son, two-time Olympian Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.), won silver and Team USA brought home the bronze, both of which  marked the best results for the squad since 1932. At the conclusion of the 2015-16 season, Alex Massialas followed Race Imboden’s (Brooklyn, N.Y.) history-making 2014-15 Overall World Cup title with one of his own while both the U.S. Men’s Junior and Senior Teams earned the Overall World Cup honors as well.

Ed Korfanty (Portland, Ore.) has coached the U.S. Women’s Saber Team at every Olympic Games since the women’s saber was added to the Olympic program in 2004. Through his leadership, U.S. women’s saber fencers have won seven medals over the course of four Games, including a team bronze medal at Rio Olympic Games as well as individual golds by Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.) in 2004 and 2008. As a team, the women’s saber squad won the Overall World Cup title in 2013-14 at the end of a season in which Team USA also won the Senior World Championships for its third title since 2000.

Zoran Tulum (Natick, Mass.) has accomplished the rare feat of coaching teams of two different weapons, taking the reins of men’s saber at the Rio Games, following his 1996 Olympic coaching debut in men’s foil. Tulum, who signed on as the U.S. Men’s Saber National Team Coach in 2014, led the team to an unprecedented four World Cup medals during the 2015-16 season and a No. 1 world ranking for the second time in history. Individually, U.S. men’s saber fencers earned international titles and top-10 world rankings in a season that culminated with an Olympic silver medal by Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y.), which ended a 32-year podium drought in the weapon.

Like men’s saber, women’s foil was not contested as a team event in Rio, but four-time Olympic Coach Buckie Leach (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) set the foundation for Tokyo as the U.S. squad won two World Cup medals in 2015-16 and climbed to No. 3 in the rankings. The U.S. Women’s Foil Team has continued its success early in the new season with two team World Cup medals and individual career-high world rankings by two-time Olympian Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.), who won her first individual Grand Prix title with a gold in Torino last month to reach the No. 2 world ranking, and 2012 Olympian Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.), who is ranked fifth after three straight medals on the World Cup circuit.

A first-time Olympic coach in Rio who is returning for his second quad, Andrey Geva (Houston, Texas) led the U.S. Women’s Epee Team to two World Cup medals during the 2015-16 season. Despite a one-touch overtime loss to Romania, the eventual gold medalists, in the quarter-finals in Rio, the U.S. Women’s Epee Team ended the Games in fifth with a final-round victory over Korea, the 2012 Olympic silver medalists. Individually, Team USA’s fencers have reached the podium over the last three years several times with Olympians Courtney and Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) winning Grand Prix and World Cup medals and two-time Junior World medalist Anna van Brummen (Houston, Texas) winning the first World Cup title for a U.S. women’s epee fencer in more than 20 years.

Kornel Udvarhelyi (Glendale, N.Y.) was named the U.S. Men’s Epee Team Coach in 2015. A former Junior National Team Coach for Hungary, Udvarhelyi led the Hungarian squad from 1998 until he came to the United States in 2001. Under his leadership, athletes won a Junior World silver medal in 2001 and a Cadet World title in 1997.  Undvarhelyi was previously named the head coach of the U.S. Women’s Epee Team in 2003 and has trained several of the top men’s epee fencers in the United States over the past decade.  

After coaching the U.S. Men’s Epee Team at the 2012 Olympic Games and working with Geva and the U.S. Women’s Epee Team in 2016, Sebastien Dos Santos (St. Genes De Lombaud, France) will be involved with both epee programs during the new quad as the director of epee. In his new role, Dos Santos will develop and implement a strategic plan to improve the level of epee in the United States. Dos Santos will work with Geva, Udvarhelyi and Director of Sports Performance Kate Reisinger (Colorado Springs, Colo.) in analyzing performance outcomes, creating training camps, developing video libraries and competition assessments and other duties in order to help strengthen the program.

Greg Massialas, Men's Foil Team Head Coach

Ed Korfanty, Women's Saber Head Coach

Zoran Tulum, Men's Saber Head Coach

Buckie Leach, Women's Foil Head Coach

Andrey Geva, Women's Epee Head Coach

Kornel Udvarhelyi, Men's Epee Head Coach

Sebastien Dos Santos, Director of Epee

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