Olympic Fencing Coaches
We’re a talented group of coaches who are passionate about our sport, and seek to provide the tools and environment necessary for each fencer to achieve their potential. Our professional coaching team holds accreditations from USA Fencing, United States Fencing Coaches Association, and are all SafeSport certified.
Coach Jen began fencing for the varsity program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill after completing her physical education requirement in fencing. Fasciated by the sport, Jen went on to compete internationally, earned a National Team Championship, and a bronze international team medal for Team USA.
Jen is founder of Forge Fencing, WFencing, and Forge Teams. She is a USA Fencing Youth SafeSport Education Facilitator and a USA Fencing Coach Mentor. Jennifer is an accredited 3-weapon Fencing Master by the United States Fencing Coaches Association and the Academie D’Armes Internationale and holds a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology. Coach Jen has been recently selected as the Head Coach for the Men’s and Women’s Fencing program at Cleveland State University.
When Coach Jen is not coaching, she is hiking, gardening or playing with her two dogs, Gus and Luna.
Coach Jeff began fencing at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte fencing club in which Coach Jen was the instructor, way back in the 1990s! He coached locally in the Charlotte metro and then moved to Durham to join Mid-South Fencers’ Club shortly after the club was opened in downtown Durham in 2010.
As well as coaching saber, foil and epee, and achieving national results in all weapons, he also trains other coaches as a Coach Developer. He is currently a ranked national competitor as well as an accredited Master d’ Sabre with the United States Fencing Coaches Association and the Academie d’Armes Internationale.
When Coach Jeff is not actively coaching he enjoys rebuilding antique cars.
Stephen began fencing at Seacoast Fencers Club in Manchester, NH. Then he fenced and coached at the North Carolina State Fencing Club and the former Raleigh Fencer’s Club. He is the fencing instructor at Meredith and Peace Colleges.
Stephen has a Level I Epée Certificate from the USFA Coaches College, and is an accredited Prevot of foil from the United States Fencing Coaches Association. He also is a nationally certified referee in all three weapons and instructs all three weapons.
Stephen still actively competes at the National level and is a multi-time medalist in Veteran’s Men’s Foil and Veteran’s Men’s Saber.
Cathleen began fencing at Duke University with the varsity team. Cathleen holds USFA Coaches College certification in Level I Epee and Level II Foil, and as a referee in saber.
Cathleen coached high school teams in Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Illinois, for two decades. Her fencers medalled individually and as teams in all three weapons.
Cathleen is a multi-time national medalist in Veteran Women’s saber, and is a founding member of WFencing.
Polo (pictured here with her daughter) started fencing at age thirteen at The Hun School in New Jersey. She decided to pursue her love of epee full time at Penn State University. Polo was instrumental in the team’s three consecutive NCAA Championship titles (1995-1997) for which she earned First Team All-American recognition.
Today she and her husband, Donn, enjoy traveling and competing in regional and national Veterans events and fostering the love of the sport in their four children.
Tyler began his fencing career at age ten at Mission Fencing Center in Long Island, NY. He trained with the Russian Junior National team in Latvia and in the U.S. and competed through college before his family relocated to North Carolina during the pandemic. Coach Tyler has been developing our Academy and High Performance fencers since 2021.
Michael began fencing at Rochester Fencing Club in New York before becoming a Tarheel. After fencing for the North Carolina varsity program, he decided to stay and is currently enrolled in the Mathematics department, earning his Ph.D.
We are seeking qualified candidates will all levels of coaching experiences who love being part of a dynamic team and want to grow in the Research Triangle area.
Love to fence, but coaching curious? We can train you!
Ahmed Hamdy Refaee
An Egyptian native, Coach Hamdy moved to North Carolina in 2023 to assist the UNC-Chapel Hill varsity program and work part-time at Forge.
Coach Hamdy’s work extends internationally to the Olympic world of fencing where he still works to support and coach members of the Egyptian national team.
Mike began fencing as a teen at the North Carolina Fencing Development Program and then fenced on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill varsity team. After graduation he was an assistant coach for UNC-CH over four years.
Mike has coached locally at several clubs, including Forge’s predecessor Mid-South Fencers’ Club. He is a nationally certified referee in all three weapons.
Mike is a multi-time national medalist in Veteran’s Men’s Foil.