Fencing Master Abdel Salem, Head Fencing Coach at the U.S. Air Force Academy, is being honored not only for his overall career, but for his accomplishments as the President of the USFCA from 2009 to 2015. During that tenure he supervised the completion of the USFCA Coach Training Manual and Certification exams for all four levels of coach accreditation, and created the coaches’ clinic at the Annual General Meeting, which for the first time allowed candidates from across the country to come to a central location to work with experienced Masters and be tested for accreditation. This new approach has reinvigorated our Association and significantly increased our membership.
Coach Salem has been coaching in the U.S. since 1984. He is a 1980 graduate of the University of Alexandria medical school, and was a practicing physician in Egypt while he was a member of their Olympic Squad. He fenced at the 1984 Los Angeles Games representing Egypt, but then remained here and began coaching at the Westside Fencing Center. It was there that he trained the team that would eventually win the USFA National Foil Team Championship. He was Ass’t Fencing Coach at the University of Pennsylvania from 1986 to ’89, then became the Head Coach at the Lone Star Fencing Academy in Dallas. For the next 7 years he developed several nationally-ranked fencers before being tapped by the Academy in 1997 to head the USAFA program.
He are recognizing him for his successful career in coaching, of course, but we particularly mean to honor his time as our President.