Matthew Zich enters his sixth year at Brandeis as an assistant coach with the Judges, focusing on sabre. He brings 24 years of proven experience to the role, as both an international competitor and as a coach.
Zich and Brandeis sabre fencers had a banner year in 2023. Three Judges qualified for the NCAA Championships, with Maggie Shealy '23 earning National Sabre Fencer of the Year honors, Tony Escueta '25 earning Division III Sabre Fencer of the Year honors and Lev BenAram '26 taking home National Sabre Newcomer of the Year recognition. For his efforts, Zich was named United States Fencing Coaches Association National Assistant Coach of the Year.
In 2020, Zich was recognized by USAFencing as part of the Spirit of Sport Recognition Program, which recognizes members of the fencing community who have exemplified outstanding dedication to the sport and are an inspiration to others.
Zich was a member of the US National Fencing Team from 2003 through 2009, representing his country at World Championships in Korea, Italy, France and Austria. He was the top-ranked sabre fencer in America as a Cadet, when he was among the top five in the world, and as a junior. He remained among the top five nationally as a senior fencer as well. Zich was trained by some of the top sabre coaches in the world, including Yury Gelman, Emmanuel Kaidanov and Zoran Tulum.
Since the end of his competitive career, Zich has coached privately at New Amsterdam Fencing Academy and Nyack Fencing Club in New York, Zeta Fencing Club in Natick, Massachusetts, and, since 2018 has served as the head sabre coach at the Boston Fencing Club in Brighton in addition to his duties at Brandeis. As a club coach, he has sent students to top collegiate programs like Oxford University, Duke, Northwestern, St. John’s and Boston College, in addition to having several of his students at Brandeis.