Shipman to retire as Brandeis fencing coach after 37 years

Coach Bill Shipman - 37 years - 18 team conference championships - 18 All-Americans

WALTHAM, Mass. – Brandeis University head men's and women's fencing coach Bill Shipman has announced his retirement after 37 years at the University, effective June 30.

Shipman has been the Judges' head coach since 1981. He guided the Judges to five University Athletic Association titles and 13 men's, women's and combined Northeast Fencing Conference titles. His squads have won at least one New England Intercollegiate Fencing Association or Northeast Fencing Conference crown each year since 2013.


"I've enjoyed my time at Brandeis," Shipman said. "It's been such a major part of my life. The students have been great and the administration has always been supportive of fencing.

"I want to thank the fencers, and I hope they enjoyed their time on our teams as much as I did."

Shipman has coached 18 All-Americans over the years, including Tim Morehouse '00, Brandeis's only Olympian and a 2008 silver medalist in Beijing as a member of the Team USA saber squad.

"Bill Shipman has been a wonderful ambassador for Brandeis University in the world of collegiate fencing over the course of his career," said Brandeis Vice President of Student Sheryl Sousa '90, a former Director of Athletics for the Judges. "He and his student-athletes have always represented the University with class as they have shown that the Judges can compete on the highest levels of the NCAA."

"Bill has been in a unique position in our department over the years," said Director of Athletics Lynne Dempsey '93. "He has led his teams against opponents from scholarship programs and Ivy League schools each year. With the amount of success a smaller program like ours has had over the years, it's a testament to Bill's hard work and dedication."

Shipman has been a member of the NCAA Fencing Committee on three separate occasions over the years, finishing up a three-year term this year. He has been instrumental in Brandeis hosting the NCAA National Collegiate Fencing championships four times: in 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2016. Four of his fencers have been inducted into the Brandeis Athletics Hall of Fame: Morehouse, Terrence Garguilo '89, Mike Mayer '94 and Kristin Foellmer Suchorski '96.

In 1994, Shipman was named the United States Fencing Coaches Association National Coach of the Year as Foellmer Suchorski '96 finished in third place at the NCAA Championships in the Gosman Center, the top finish by a Brandeis fencer at nationals. He was a four-time NFC Coach of the Year and six-time UAA Coach of the Year award winner.

Shipman also served as Brandeis's golf coach for 10 seasons from 2001 through 2010, and was the department's intramural coordinator from 1984 through 1993.

Shipman earned his BA in education from North Carolina and his masters in Recreation and Parks Administration from Clemson. He joined the Brandeis staff in 1981 after serving three seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Pennsylvania.

Brandeis will begin a national search for a successor.