Aladar Kogler Retires as Columbia Fencing Coach
NEW YORK – Aladar A. Kogler, PhD, Director of the Sports Psychology Research Laboratory established by the U.S. Olympic Committee at Columbia University and a staple in Columbia's fencing program since 1983, will retire after 28 years at Columbia University, Dr. M. Dianne Murphy, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education, announced Monday. Kogler is also the head coach of the United States Fencing National Training Center at Columbia University.
"We are announcing the retirement of one of Columbia's longest-tenured coaches today," said Dr. Murphy. "Aladar Kogler presided over some of the best fencing teams in the history of the sport and helped Columbia's rise to national prominence. We wish Aladar the very best in the future."
Since arriving on Morningside Heights in 1983 as the head women's fencing coach, and then as the co-head coach of the fencing program from 1986-2005 with George Kolombatovich, his coaching match record is an impressive 214-60 (.781 winning percentage) in men's fencing and 271-74 (.785) in women's fencing.
With Kogler and Kolombatovich at the helm, Columbia has had a very long run as one of the nation's premier college fencing programs. Their Columbia teams have won 17 Ivy League men's fencing titles and eight Ivy League women's fencing titles over the past 28 years.
Working together with Kolombatovich as co-head coach, the Columbia men's fencing program won the national title in three consecutive years from 1987, 1988 and 1989. After the NCAA changed the fencing championships to a combined men and women's format, Kolombatovich and Kogler coached the Lions to the 1992 and 1993 NCAA Championships.
Seventeen Columbia fencers have won individual NCAA fencing titles during Kogler's tenure as co-head coach, including Columbia Athletics Hall of Fame inductees Katy Bilodeau '87CC, Bob Cottingham '88CC, Jon Normile '89CC, Tzu Moy '90CC and Ben Atkins '93CC as well as Jeff Spear '10CC and Daria Schneider '10CC.
A prominent figure in international fencing, Kogler has been chosen to coach the United States Fencing Team in four Olympic Games. In addition, many Columbians who competed for Kogler also represented the United States in Olympic competition, including 2008 Beijing Games Silver Medalists Erinn Smart '01BC and James Williams '07CC. He was also the coach of the Czechoslovakian Olympic and National Teams from 1963 to 1981, overall coaching in seven Olympic Games to date. 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 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 over the course of his career.