Kathy Vail, Head Coach and owner of Dunwoody Fencing Club, is a professional epee coach certified by the United States Fencing Coaches Association and USA Fencing. Coach Vail completed her training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. She recenly completed USA Fencing's year-long Leadership Academy. She is a member of the Review Board of the Classical Academy of Arms. Coach Vail is the co-founder and current Chairman of the Georgia High School Fencing League. She serves as the United States Fencing Coaches Association's vice-president for the Southeast. Coach Vail is a past Chairman of the Georgia Division of USA Fencing, was nominated for Developmental Coach of the Year in 2011 and named a USA Fencing Spirit of Sport Champion in 2018. She has served as USA Fencing's Regional Coordinator for the Southeastern US. She is past Chairman of the USA Fencing Scholastic/Collegiate Task Force and member of USA Fencing's Club Member Services Committee. She is past Chairman of the United States Fencing Coaches Association Professional Development Committee. She is also an NFHS accredited interscholastic coach and a professional member of the United States Center for Coaching Excellence. In 2019, Coach Vail was honored to receive USA Fencing's Outstanding Service Award in Youth Fencing. Fencers trained by Coach Vail have won national championships and earned medals in local, regional, national and international competition. She has also trained fencers who have earned college scholarships and who compete in NCAA Division I programs
Chad Morris is a member of USA Fencing and certified by the United States Fencing Coaches Association. He has coached the Pinecrest Academy fencing team. Coach Morris competes in regional and national competitions and is a USA Fencing certified referee who referees at the national level.
Jacob Wachtel is a member of USA Fencing and certified by the United States Fencing Coaching Association. Coach Wachtel won USA Fencing's 2013 Connor Porter Memorial Scholarship and was team captain for Pope High School. He is a USA Fencing certified referee who referees at the regional level. He has coached the Milton High School fencing team and is currently an educator at Marietta High School
Brent Nieman is a member of USA Fencing and has fenced in Georgia since 1985. Coach Nieman is a national finalist in USA Fencing competition. He is the former owner and coach of Decatur Blades. He has led fencing camp at the Decatur Recreation Center and taught fencing courses at Georgia State University, Emory Community Education and the Cliff Valley School. Coach Nieman is a retired public educator having taught elementary school for over 30 years
James Wallace began fencing at Dunwoody Fencing Club at 9 years old. He is a member of USA Fencing and certified by the United States Fencing Coaches Association. Coach Wallace had a successful high school fencing career in the Georgia High School Fencing League earning All-Academic recognition and All-American honors all four years. Coach Wallace has competed at the local, regional and national level. He was named a USA Fencing Spirit of Sport Champion in 2017. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021. While at VT he held 3 officer positions at the Virginia Tech Fencing Club over the course of 4 years: Men's Team Captain, Vice President, and President.
Richard Shaw is a founding member of Dunwoody Fencing Club. He holds the coaching record for most Championship wins in the GHSFL. Coach Shaw has competed in local, regional and national competitions and is a four- time Georgia State Champion in the Veterans Division.
Matthew Cole is a graduate of Washington University and the University of Denver. He is a member of USA Fencing and certified by the USFCA. Coach Cole is a USA Fencing certified referee who referees at the national level. He is a past Chief of Referees for the Georgia High School Fencing League and has served on the GHSFL Board of Directors. Coach Cole currently resides in Colorado
Our Dunwoody Fencing Club coaching staff are members in good standing in the USFCA, the professional organization of fencing coaches in the United States. We adhere to the USOC Code of Ethics, endorsed by the USFCA. As members of USA Fencing, our coaching staff have completed SafeSport training and annual background checks. We encourage completion of continuing coaching education courses in all areas of fencing, including fencing skill development and physical literacy skills
In 2022 Dunwoody Fencing Club lost Coach John Stephens. Coach Stephens was a man of great humility and humor who we remember as a highly skilled coach, a supportive mentor, an excellent armorer, and a great friend. He truly enjoyed sharing fencing with our students. He will be deeply misssed.
John Stephens was a member of USA Fencing and certified by the United States Fencing Coaching Association. He coached the Campbell High School fencing team. Coach Stephens served as fencing instructor for the 2013 Summer Institute of the Gifted program and the 2012 Georgia State fencing program. He also coached the Fellowship Christian School, Walton High School, Pope High School and Alpharetta High School fencing teams and was an experienced armorer.
The fencers, coaches and families of Dunwoody Fencing Club are honored to have been selected as a USA Fencing Club of Excellence!
Local clubs are the heartbeat of fencing — a place where creativity, care and community engagement shine. Each year, USA Fencing recognizes only five clubs across the nation.
Honoring the outstanding work being done at the grassroots level to grow and sustain fencing, the program is an acknowledgment that every successful fencing journey begins when a fencer opens the door to their local club for the first time