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I was a college coach for a day


Jerk in a Hawaiian Shirt & SNOWCAT Moderator
Staff member
GOLD Site Supporter
Had a fun afternoon & evening today.

About a month ago a visiting guest at my fencing club was chatting with me about the state of affairs at his university with regards to their fencing team. The student is a good fencer, has a national rating and was pretty competitive in his high school career. But college fencing has been disappointing for him as his school, Bradly University in Peoria, IL, has a club but no coach, and a very limited budget.

The conversation set the germ of an idea. Guest coaching at colleges. At the time of the conversation there were 3 coaches that were interested in helping the school. Of course as the idea started to grow toward reality 2 of the coaches backed away, not because they were not willing but rather because life circumstances prevented them from attending. I was still willing to go so I enlisted a couple club members with schedules that worked with the university schedule. We just got home about midnight.

Overall it was a fun night. Their club is sort of a cluster-f#(k of old equipment, students teaching students wrong things and some good fencers frantically trying to fix things. Lots of enthusiasm to learn but not much skill in teaching the correct things. While I was dealing with college students it honestly was not much different that teaching high school freshman. Lots of herding cats and repetition. But college students seem to have a longer attention span.

I've been formally invited to coach at University of Minnesota for their fencing club; I turned it down. Simply too far away; 6 hour drive each way. Just not logistically possible for me/us. I've been semi-approached by Augustana University, and if there is follow through I'd be happy to do that one at only 2.5 hours away.

If Bradley wants us back it is very likely we'd agree to go help them again.

I contacted the USA Fencing organization about resources for helping college clubs and go no response. I was surprised a member club would not get even a simply response, but I got no reply at all. Disappointing.