Few schools in the collegiate fencing world command more respect than Columbia, and Dr. Aladar Kogler is a major reason for that respect. Since 1983, when Kogler began coaching at Columbia, the Lions have risen to the top ranks of collegiate fencing, finishing first or second in the nation seven times. He has significantly influenced Columbia’s recruiting, as his presence with the Lions has helped attract the best fencing talent from across the globe, while his teaching methods have helped Columbia earn six national championship titles, as well as 2008’s NCAA third-place trophy.
In 1987, the Lions earned their first NCAA men’s title in sixteen years and followed that with championships in 1988 and 1989. They finished second in 1990 and 1991, after the championships were combined. In both 1992 and 1993, the team brought back two more NCAA first-place trophies. The Lions have captured eight IFA Championships (including the 2007-08 title), ten Northeast Regional crowns, 17 Ivy League men’s championships, and eight Ivy League women’s championships under Kogler. He has also produced 17 World Cup finalists. Including his season as coach at Wayne State before coming to Columbia, he produced 18 individual national senior champions in all weapons, 16 individual NCAA champions in all weapons, and three Pan American champions.
During his 25 years at Columbia, the women have posted a record of 300-78, and the men have gone 245-68. It is little wonder Kogler has been chosen to coach the United States Fencing Team in four Olympic Games. Add this to his experience as the coach of the Czechoslovakian Olympic and National Teams from 1963 to 1981, and you have a coach with seven Olympic Rings. The US Olympic Committee recognized him in 1998 as its National Coach of the Year In Fencing. In July 2006, Kogler was elected to the USFA National Fencing Hall of Fame.
Kogler was the USFA National Coach from 1983 to 2001, and is currently head coach of the USFA National Training Center at Columbia University. He coached the U.S. National Team in the World Championships for 17 years, and was selected to coach at the 1995 Pan American Games. He is a three-time Pan American coach and a three-time World University Games coach.
A native of Hungary, Kogler earned an international reputation with the Czechoslovakian National Team. While there, eight of his students were world finalists, one was a Junior World Champion and a World University Games Champion. Thirty-nine of his students won Czech, Hungarian, or Austrian national championships. Two silver medals were earned - one in foil, one in épée - in the World Championships in Hamburg, Germany, and Barcelona, Spain.
Kogler attended the Hungarian College of Higher Physical Education and two Czechoslovakian institutions, Komensky University in Bratislava and Carl University in Prague. He has published 10 books and more than 25 scientific papers and is the director of the US Olympic Committee founded Sports Psychological Research Laboratory at Columbia, which works with several Columbia teams.
Kogler resides in Manhattan.