USFCA college committee elections

Ivan Lee

Division I & II representative

[In alphabetical order]

Ivan LeeIvan Lee

Long Island University |

Personal and Professional Background (experience, qualifications, background, etc.)

2004 Olympic Team
Sabre Coach, LIFC
NYC Police Academy Physical Training and Tactics Instructor

Candidate Statement (why are you running, your priorities and what you can contribute to Coaches Community)

My goal is to give the collegiate fencing coaches a strong and collective voice that focuses on fairness throughout all divisions, regions and genders.

Zachary MossZach Moss

Northwestern University |

Personal and Professional Background (experience, qualifications, background, etc.)

I have been involved in the sport since age six as an athlete, referee, and coach. I began competing nationally at ten years old and was fortunate to be able to compete in NCAA fencing as a member of the Duke University team. I continued competing nationally after college and eventually transitioned to being more focused on coaching. I helped out at my local club and coached a high school team for four years before coming to Northwestern University as the assistant coach. I served as assistant coach for two years before being promoted to head coach. I am entering my fifth year as head coach of the program.

In addition to my role as Head Coach of the Northwestern Varsity Team, I coach and help administratively with the Northwestern University Club Fencing Team and operate a private fencing club. I have served as the Treasurer for the Midwest Fencing Conference since the 2017-18 season and have been part of the leadership of the Conference. I also have a Master’s Degree in Sport Management.

Finally, I have been part of the exploratory committee that led to the partnership with the USFCA to improve our coaches association representation. I have worked during the transition phase to help create good communication to all institutions and to find ways to best serve our community.

Candidate Statement (why are you running, your priorities and what you can contribute to Coaches Community)

I am running to be on the Collegiate Coaches Committee because I believe it is an essential body for our sport to continue to exist and function within the NCAA. Between the ever-evolving NCAA environment and the challenges created by the global pandemic, I believe that it is crucial that we have a group of coaches working to represent the needs of all of our member institutions and evaluating the best ways to move our sport forward. Philosophically, I am guided by two core beliefs – that the student-athlete experience is an essential one and that unified cooperation between all NCAA coaches is essential for our continued existence as a varsity sport.

I believe in the importance of the student-athlete experience and that through that experience we can help our fencers develop both as athletes and as people. I believe that college fencing can provide an unparalleled experience and opportunity for our fencers to grow. I am grateful for the experience that I had as a college athlete and I want to help ensure that opportunity is available for future generations of fencers.

I believe that for the continued existence and success of college fencing that we need to create a stronger culture of unity across our teams. We need a culture where we are working together to promote the sport, to grow and protect the number of varsity programs, and to be adaptable in the ever-evolving and challenging world of college athletics. In order to do this, I believe that we need to develop a culture where we are willing to share information, communicate openly, and work together to solve our collective and individual challenges.

With those core beliefs in mind, I see a number of important steps and actions that we can take as a coaches association to help our sport continue to exist and to grow at the NCAA level.

First, we need to improve our communication and representation to the NCAA. A strong, effective, and representative coaches association is essential to achieving this. We need to build a stronger voice within the NCAA structure and develop strong relationships with the NCAA Championships Committee to allow the voice of our coaches to be better heard.

Second, we need to develop resources to help advocate for new NCAA programs and help protect existing ones. To complement this, we need to develop education and resource sharing mechanisms for coaches who are new to the college coaching ranks – particularly new head coaches. There is so much that is unique to being a college coach that cannot be learned in the private coaching ranks that we need to find ways to help support coaches making this jump. This will help prevent losing programs during leadership transitions.

Third, we need to increase the visibility and operations within our sport to be more in line with how other sports operate. Specifically, we need to find ways to recognize our member programs and provide them with resources to help them publicize their program internally and externally. This can be accomplished by increasing awards that are presented to be in line with what other coaches associations are doing and by creating a media strategy that allows strong publicity of these awards. It is also essential that these awards allow recognition of all levels and genders within the sport.

Finally, and most importantly, we need to make sure that we are insuring representation and recognition for all levels (divisions) and genders within our sport. It is essential that we provide voice and find solutions to the challenges that face all of our member institutions regardless of the nature of the program. We have a wide range of types of programs, so we need to be working to address the problems that affect all programs and find solutions that help the sport as a whole.

In short, I am running for this committee because I believe in what this committee could be and the ways that it can make a real, lasting impact for our sport. I would be honored to be part of this committee and to work on the behalf of all programs.


Division III representative

[in alphabetical order]

Peter Grandboisezgif 5 b72e0a27c7ee

Denison University |

Personal and Professional Background (experience, qualifications, background, etc.)

I have been fencing since 1982 when I joined the fencing club at the University of Colorado. In the 90’s I rose to 5th in the nation in men’s foil and competed in many NACs and World Cups. When I returned to fencing as a veteran, I won several veteran NACs and qualified for the 2014 and 2016 veteran’s world team. Over the last 38 years of my time in fencing, I’ve coached at private clubs (Halberstadt Fencers Club), high schools (Adlai Stevenson High School), and university club and varsity programs (University of Chicago varsity asst coach, Denison University club coach and now varsity women’s coach). In all my coaching endeavors, I’ve prided myself on innovative strategies for growing fencing.

Candidate Statement (why are you running, your priorities and what you can contribute to Coaches Community)

Although I am a new college varsity coach, I have been in and around fencing in the U.S. for 38 years and know the sport well at all levels. While the fact that I am a new varsity coach does mean that I may not be as familiar with the ins and outs of the NCAA as more seasoned candidates, I believe my fresh perspective will be crucial as we navigate both the “new normal” of Covid19 and post-Covid times. I am running for two main reasons. First, to give a voice to Div III programs whose voice has often been overlooked by the NCAA and the varsity fencing community. While it is essential that all varsity programs stick together for the sake of numbers and compete in a national championship that includes Div I, II, and III, I think it is also possible to coordinate a different “championship” for Div III schools. This championship would not be a sanctioned national championship, as that would undermine the existing one, but it could be a championship in all but name that creates a meaningful season culmination for most Div III programs that never get to send a fencer to the traditional national championship. Second, my history as a coach has proven that I know how to create and grow fencing programs. I helped create and grow Adlai Stevenson’s high school program in the mid-90’s…and it quickly became the largest sports program at the school. More recently, I created the Denison University fencing club and varsity team in a few short years where there had been no fencing before. The fencing program at Denison is now one of the most vibrant sports programs at the university and a model for the creation of other varsity programs around the country. My second priority is to lead the charge for targeting other colleges and universities that show the potential for varsity teams and coordinating efforts to support the growth of varsity teams at those colleges and universities. It is only by growing the sport at the college level that we will have a continued voice in the NCAA, especially during the post-Covid years when the threat that universities will attempt to balance budgets by cutting programs is real. It is crucial not only for the sake of college fencing but for the larger fencing community as a whole that we do NOT content ourselves with the existing fencing programs but prioritize the growth of new ones. Finally, I’m running to make sure that fencing has a strong voice in the NCAA. I’m also a Professor of English at Denison University. I know the power of rhetorical strategies and would use my knowledge in both written and oral communication to make sure our voice is heard by the NCAA national office.

Vincent Paraganoezgif 5 fa0b613f1c5e

Drew University |

Personal and Professional Background (experience, qualifications, background, etc.)

COACHING — Head Coach, Drew University Fencing 2014-Present; 2016 EWFC Conference Women’s Coaching Staff of the Year; 2017 + 2018 MACFA Conference Men’s Fencing Coach of the Year; Head Coach, Bernards High School (NJ) (2012-2014) and Gov.Livingston High School (NJ) (2005-2012); 3 Time NJSIAA “High School Fencing Coach of the Year”; 2009 Newark Star Ledger “New Jersey High School Fencing Coach of the Year”; Former Chairman, New Jersey Division of the US Fencing Association (2008-2011)

CLUB — President/Operator, Somerset Hills Fencing Club, Inc., Bernardsville, New Jersey (High School and Middle School Summer Fencing Camp programs)
COMPETITIVE — Gold Medalist, 2016-2017-2018 Pan American Veterans Championships (Saber); 3-time Winner, New Jersey Veterans Cup (Men’s Saber)
BUSINESS — President, Vincent Paragano & Son, Inc. 1980-Present (Real Estate Developers and Residential/Commercial Construction); President, Raritan Bay Associates, LLC 2001-Present (Residential/Multi-Family Development)
EDUCATION — Juris Doctor (Law), American University Washington College of Law (1980); Bachelor of Arts (Political Science), Rutgers College/Rutgers University (1977)
FAMILY — Married 40 years to Kathryn; Father to 3 adult children: Matthew, Jennifer and Laura (all 3 fenced); Grandfather to Zara Paragano (newborn)

Candidate Statement (why are you running, your priorities and what you can contribute to Coaches Community)

It has been my pleasure to serve on the USFCA/NCAA Coaches’ Committee since inception. I was part of the original organizing working group that led to the formation of the “NCAA Coaches Committee” within USFCA.
I absolutely LOVE being the coach of an NCAA Division III dual-gender program. It gives me great pride to recruit, train and graduation very fine young adults.
I would like to continue the work that the Committee started to be a voice for collegiate/NCAA fencing.
With my diverse background as an NCAA Coach, Club Coach, National/International Competitor, Attorney and Businessman, I am uniquely qualified to assist the USFCA/NCAA Coaches’ Committee and the NCAA Coaching Community address the mounting challenges that collegiate fencing faces to (a) retain existing college programs; (b) expand and add collegiate programs at all levels; (c) make college fencing more appealing and accessible to the growing population of young fencers; and (d) address the inequities in the support of fencing programs both within their own college administrations and in the greater fencing world.
As a Division III Head Coach for BOTH the men’s and the women’s programs at Drew University, I will continue to be an effective advocate for the development, recognition and equitable treatment of Division III fencing programs by the NCAA, USFCA and USA Fencing. As is evidenced by the rosters and results of my Drew University teams, I have been a long-standing and effective advocate for gender-equity and racial diversity in college fencing.

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