Abdel Salem is in his second full season as head fencing coach at the Air Force Academy. He took over in January 1998, becoming the first civilian in the position in 18 years.
Salem, the 1996 U.S. Olympic Committee Coach of the Year, took over for Maj. Stu LeBlanc, whose tour at USAFA ended in May of 1997. 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.
Certified as a coach by the U.S. Fencing Association, Salem was most recently the head coach at the Lone Star Fencing Center in Dallas. He founded the club in 1989 and developed fencers from the novice skill level to the advanced competitor, including U.S. national team members. During his time at Lone Star, Salem also was fencing coach for the St. Marks School in Dallas.
Previously, Salem was an assistant coach at Pennsylvania and taught a fencing course at Bryn Mawr College (PA). His first coaching job came 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.
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 USFA. These clinics teach coaching skills to new coaches as well as offer current coaches new techniques. A coach at five U.S. Olympic Festivals, Salem also was involved with three U.S. Junior and Cadet teams.
Salems coaching career in the U.S. began in 1984 at the Westside Fencing Center in Los Angeles. In 1986, he moved on to the Salle Cslszar Fencing Center in Philadelphia where he assisted in hosting the U.S. pe 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, are the proud parents of a son, James.