Brown University fencing head coach Atilio Tass has involved himself in fencing on an international level for decades and now enters his 18th season as the leader of the Bears’ program in 2016-17.
Not only a coach, Tass is also a world-class competitor, referee and teacher. His training as a coach comes from the Hungarian Sport University, where he earned his coaching diploma in fencing in 1988. He coaches all three weapons.
Since 2002, Tass has coached five All-Americans – three men and two women – and 23 NCAA qualifiers – 13 men and 10 women. He has mentored 10 All-Ivy performers – six men and four women – since Brown formally began competition in Ivy fencing in 2005-06.
He guided the Bears to 13th-place finishes as a team at the NCAA Championships in 2011, 2012, and 2015, marking the highest team finish for Brown in program history. Tass began his tenure as Brown’s head coach prior to the 1999-2000 season.
A native of Buenos Aires, Argentinia, Tass competed in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and 1980 Olympics in Moscow, as well as six different World Championships from 1985 to 1991, and three Pan American Games. He was the South American Champion in 1980, 1983 and 1986, the Argentinian National Champion in 1983 and 1984, and earned a bronze medal at the 1979 Pan Am Championship.
Tass has been an official referee for the US Fencing Team since 1990 and was selected to referee the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. He was also invited to referee the last six NCAA Championships.
He worked as an assistant coach at the University of Notre Dame in 1988. He was proprietor, manager, and head coach of the Tuscon (AZ) Fencing Club, coaching there from 1990-1999 at all levels, from beginners to competitive members.
Tass, who is fluent in English, Spanish, Italian, and Hungarian, has also worked in TV, producing and directing a two-hour show, "The World of Fencing," for cable. He also created a magazine format show titled, "Fencing Action News".
The Tass File
Awards & Accolades
Women’s NCAA All-Americans – Since 2002 (2): Ruth Schneider (2003-04), Randy Alevi (2007)
Men’s NCAA All-Americans – Since 2002 (3): Adam Pantel (2009), Kelly McGuire (2013), Simon Jones (2015-16)
Men’s NCAA Qualifiers – Since 2002 (13): Mark Dembitz (2002), Paul Friedman (2002-03), Jeremy Zeitlin (2005), Dan Mahoney (2007), Adam Pantel (2008-10), Adam Yarnell (2008), Jonathan Yu (2009), Teddy Weller (2011-13), Kelly McGuire (2012-13), Barrett Weiss (2012), Simon Jones (2014-16), Alex Palabrica (2015)
Women’s NCAA Qualifiers – Since 2002 (10): Sharon Sonenblum (2002), Ruth Schneider (2003-04, 2006), Randy Alevi (2007-08), Caitlin Taylor (2010-11, 2014), Kathryn Hawrot (2011-12, 2014), Avery Nackman (2011), Cory Abbe (2011-12), Christine Whalen (2012, 2014-15), Signe Ferguson (2015), Clara Tondato Da Ruos (2015)
Men’s All-Ivy (6): Adam Pantel (2009-10), Barrett Weiss (2012), Kelly McGuire (2012), Teddy Weller (2012), Simon Jones (2015), Samuel Koch (2015-16)
Women’s All-Ivy (4): Ruth Schneider (2006), Randy Alevi (2008), Francesca Batholomew (2008), Kathyrn Hawrot (2011-12)
NCAA Team Finishes