Robert Cottingham, Jr.

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Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics

Over the years Columbia University has produced some of the top fencers in the country.  Among them is Robert Cottingham, one of the most decorated fencers in Columbia’s rich fencing history.


A member of the great Columbia fencing teams of the 1980’s, Cottingham was a four-time All-Ivy League and All-America selection in men’s sabre.  Over his four year career, Cottingham compiled an impressive record of 108-11 for a winning percentage of .907.

Respected amongst his teammates, Cottingham was selected as a team captain for his junior and senior seasons.  During those years, he led his team to back-to-back NCAA titles.  Individually, Cottingham really came into his own during those years, as well.  As a junior, he won silver in the individual sabre competition at the NCAA Championships and the Pan-American Games in Indianapolis.  Building off that year, Cottingham did the unthinkable his senior year – he won a prized double, winning an individual NCAA title, to go along with the team title.  That same year he was named the NCAA Fencer of the Year and received the Columbia University Distinguished Athlete Award.

Upon graduating from Columbia in 1988, Cottingham went on to compete for the US National team at the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games.  He was named the Newark Star-Ledger Fencer of the Decade for the 1980’s and served as a member of the Executive Committee of the United State Fencing Association.
Cottingham married Alison Thomas in 1995, and the couple has two children, Robert III and Alison.  He currently owns Sabre88, a global consulting firm applying capabilities in technology, public policy, international affairs, health care and education to government and commercial clients.

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