Michael Aufrichtig was named Head Men and Women’s Fencing Coach at Columbia in June 2011. He had previously served as the Chairman of the New York Athletic Club Fencing program for the previous five years.
In his first year at the helm, Aufrichtig revitalized Columbia's fencing program. In 2012, the Lion men had their best finish at the Ivy League Championships in four years and the women finished just one win away from taking home the league title.
At the Ivy League Championships, Will Spear '15CC was named the Most Outstanding Performer of the Meet on the men's side and the Ivy League Rookie of the Year. Spear was one of five All-Americans for Columbia in 2011-12, including national runner-up Alen Hadzic '14CC in men's epee.
Another newcomer, Michael Josephs '15CC made third team All-American in men's sabre. Sammy Roberts '12SEAS battled through injuries to make third team All-American and Lydia Kopecky '13CC gained second team All-America honors in women's epee.
“Michael is one of the most knowledgeable and well-connected figures in fencing, in New York City and across the nation. He is a wonderful administrator and leader, with experience at the highest level with one of the most notable fencing and athletic organizations in the world,” says Dr. M. Dianne Murphy, Director, Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education.
“Columbia is very proud of our tremendous heritage in collegiate fencing," Murphy continued. "We are dedicated to building a top-rate fencing coaching staff that will provide exceptional leadership, mentoring, and instruction to our fencing student-athletes.”
As the Director of the NYAC Fencing Program, Aufrichtig managed the coaching staff, budgets, practice times, travel arrangements and recruiting of the 55 athletes that compete with NYAC Fencing. He founded the NYAC Men’s Epee High School Invitational in 2001, the strongest men’s epee high school competition in the United States. He also served as the 2009 Women’s Epee coach at the World Championships in Antalya, Turkey.
During his five-year tenure with the NYAC, the NYAC Fencing program had unprecedented success. At the 2011 National Championships, the NYAC won five national championships, three silver medals and two bronze. In 2010, NYAC qualified seven members to the World Championships, more than any other program.
“I’m honored to be the new head men and women’s fencing coach at Columbia University,” said Aufrichtig. “I look forward to continuing the rich success of Columbia Fencing and expanding the Columbia Fencing community. This is truly a dream come true.”
Aufrichtig fenced at NYU, and graduated the Stern School of Business in 1994. He worked as a senior account executive at Advanced Solutions International from 2007, while also serving as Chairman of the NYAC Fencing program. From 2001-2006, he worked for Kintera, Inc. in enterprise sales. Aufrichtig also worked for Blade Fencing Equipment, Inc. from 1993-2000.