Staff

Head Coach
Alex Beguinet

Contact Information:

e-mail: beguinet@duke.edu
phone: (919) 668-5752

Mailing address:
Alex Beguinet
Duke University Fencing Coach
P.O. Box 90555
Cameron Indoor stadium
Durham, NC 27708

Head coach Alex Beguinet enters his 29th season at the helm of the Duke program. Beguinet has compiled a 486-449 (.520) overall record in his 28 years with the Blue Devils and has coached two NCAA Champions.

In Beguinet's time at Duke, the women's program has compiled a 230-247 record under his direction and produced one 3-time NCAA Champion and five All-Americas, while the men's program has posted a 256-203 mark with 13 All-Americas and one National Champion. Beguinet has helped Blue Devil Fencers in reaching the NCAA Fencing Championships for 26 of his 28 years while sending over 80 participants to the national championships.

Beguinet mentored one of the most successful fencers in NCAA history in three-time NCAA Saber Champion, alum  Becca Ward. Ward, who won the bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, reached the NCAA Championship match in each of her four seasons. She won the 2009, 2011 and 2012 NCAA titles while finishing as runner-up in 2010.

Beguinet served at US Fencing's annual summer Junior Olympic Training Camps as a staff member for 10 years, served as coach for several International Cadet Championships and World Championships, and also  participated as a coach at the fencing events for seven Olympic Festivals. 

Alex Beguinet was the Director of the US Fencing Association's coaching education program, Coaches College, from 1993 until the program was dissolved in 2011, and was a member of the education staff since the program, held annually at US Olympic Training Centers, was first implemented in 1985.

Born in Toulouse, France, Maitre Beguinet received his Master of Arms Degree from the National Sports Institute in Paris in 1976. Beguinet came to Duke after serving eight years as the head fencing coach at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore.

Beguinet was the owner/director of Salle La Boessiere in Portland from 1980-84. While there, in addition to coaching for Lewis and Clark College in Portland, he coached at Portland Community College, Clark College in Vancouver, Wash., Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Ore., and instructed for the city of Portland's Park Bureau

He lives with his artist wife of 29 years, Elizabeth on their recently acquired abandoned farm, restoring it to working order. They have one daughter, Heather, who is a Duke alumnae.


Recruiting Coordinator/Team Manager
Elizabeth Beguinet

 

Elizabeth has been Duke University Fencing Team Manager from 1985 to present. In addition to managing the program and recruits with the head coach, Elizabeth oversees all Duke Fencing events.

Elizabeth was a team co-manager for the 2006 Junior/Cadet World Championship Team in Taebaek, Korea and team co-manager for the 2006 Senior World Championships in Turin, Italy. She was also a manager at the 1991 Olympic Festival in Los Angeles.

Elizabeth was a member of the US Fencing Association’s Coaches College staff as manager since 1991.  Elizabeth assumed the position of Associate Director of the US Fencing’s Coaching Development Program in 1999 – a position she held until the program was dissolved in 2011.  

Elizabeth has a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies in Mathematics, Sociology and Women Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.    Elizabeth and Alex have one daughter, Heather, who is a Duke alum.


Assistant Coach
Jacek Huchwadja

Former Olympic fencer Jacek Huchwadja joined the Duke fencing staff as an assistant coach in July, 2013.

Huchwadja, a member of the German National Team who fenced in the 1992 Summer Olympic Games, comes to Duke after a seven-year stint as the saber coach at Oregon Fencing Alliance in Portland. At Oregon Fencing Alliance, Huchwadja mentored a number of the nation's top fencers, including former Blue Devil and three-time NCAA Saber Champion Becca Ward.

Prior to his time at Oregon Fencing Alliance, Huchwadja was the saber coach at the world-renowned Tauberbischofsheim Fencing Club in Tauberbischofsheim, Germany from 1992-2006. During his time at Tauberbischofsheim, Huchwadja coached Olympic bronze medalist Alex Weber, Junior World Cup winner Tamara Biesinger and Cadet World Cup runner-up Mathias Grimm.
Huchwadja enjoyed a decorated fencing career, fencing saber with the German National Team from 1991-98. In addition to twice representing Germany at the Olympics, Huchwadja was a three-time gold medalist at the German Open Saber Championship (1992, 1994, 1996), a two-time team bronze medalist at the World Fencing Championship (1991, 1993), a silver medalist at the 1996 Senior World Cup, a three-time German Senior National individual and team Champion, a three-time, German Junior National Champion and a winner of the 1987 Junior World Cup.

Huchwadja also served in the German military in the sport division where he competed as saber fencer and was the 1991 World Champion at the World Military Championships.

A native of Poznań, Poland, Huchwadja and his wife, Magda, have four children: Marcel, Pola, Alex and Sophia.


Volunteer Coach
Leslie Marx

Contact Information:

e-mail: marx@duke.edu
phone: (919) 660-7762

Leslie Marx enters her twelth season as an assistant coach at Duke.

Since joining the program in 2002, Marx has helped the Duke men post a 245-193 record and the women a 215-237 record.  Marx has mentored 8 All-America selections during that span while helping to send 48 Blue Devils to the NCAA Championships, including 2004’s third-place epee finisher Anne Kercsmar.

A 1989 graduate of Duke, Marx is one of the most celebrated Blue Devil fencers, having won the 1995 Pan American Championship as well as finishing 16th in women’s epee at the 1996 Olympics. While at Duke, the former Leslie McFarland competed in the NCAA Regionals while also earning Academic All-America honors.

Following graduation at Duke with a degree in mathematics, she went on to get her Ph.D. in economics from Northwestern. Marx returned to Duke as a faculty member in 2002 and is now the William and Sue Gross Research Fellow and Professor of Economics at the Fuqua School of Business.


Assistant Coach
Darius Wei

Darius Wei

e-mail: dwei@duaa.duke.edu
phone: (585) 329-9258

Darius Wei joined the Duke coaching staff in July, 2012. He is a coaching veteran of over 10 years with stints at the University of Rochester (2002-08), the Northwest Fencing Center (2008-2011) and the Vega Fencing Academy (2011-12).

In his first season, Wei helped guide the Blue Devils to a 12th-place finish at the 2013 NCAA Championships, while the men's and women's teams earned top-10 rankings in the USFCA rankings. As the staff's foil specialist, Wei mentored a women's foil unit that yielded four fencers with at least 20 wins and a men's squad that produced five double-digit winners.

Previously Wei coached at the Northwest Fencing Center in Portland, Ore., working with the senior women's foil team that won back-to-back national championships in 2008 and 2009 and the senior men's foil team which won a national championship in 2010 and a bronze medal in 2011. Athletes who have trained with Darius have earned success at a high level, including North American Cup finals, National Championships and NCAA Championship berths.

A native of Greenwood, Ind., Wei holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology (2001). He is married to Kathryn Pierrynowski.