Academy fencing team holds its ground at NCAA championships
2014 NCAA Men's and Women's Fencing Championships, March 21 to 23
Head coach Abdel Salem is in his fourth season at the helm of the Academy's men's and women's fencing program. A 1980 graduate of the University of Alexandria, Egypt, with a doctorate in medicine, Salem was a 10-year member of the Egyptian National Fencing team and competed in the 1984 Olympics. In 1996, Salem was named the U.S. Olympic Committee Coach of the Year.
Before coming to the Academy, he was the head coach at the Lone Star Fencing Center in Dallas, Texas. He founded the center in 1989 and developed fencers from the novice skill level to the advanced competitor, including the United States national team members. During his time at Lone Star, Salem was also the fencing coach for the St. Mark's School in Dallas.
Salem taught a fencing course as the fencing instructor at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. His first head coaching position was at the Fairmont Park Fencing Center in Philadelphia. As head coach at the club from 1987-89, Salem taught U.S. Olympic and world team members along with hosting the U.S. Foil team championships. He was also the assistant coach at University of Pennsylvania from 1986-1988.
Salem has also been involved in many national teams and clubs. Since 1993, he has been a staff member at the U.S. Olympic Training Center as he participated in the U.S. Coaches College for the United States Fencing Association. The clinics help teach coaching skills to new coaches as well as offer current coaches new techniques. A coach at five U.S. Olympic Sports Festivals, Salem was also involved with many U.S. Junior and Cadet teams.
Salem's coaching career in the United States began in 1984 at the Westside Fencing Center in Los Angeles. In 1986, he moved on to the Salle Calazar Fencing Center in Philadelphia where he assisted in hosting the U.S. epee team championships. After graduating from Alexandria and during his Olympic efforts, Salem was a practicing general physician in Egypt for four years.
Salem and his wife, Kathy, have one son, James.