With over 30 years of international level competition, as both a coach and an accomplished athlete, Jarek Koniusz enters his 25th year at the helm of MIT’s men’s and women’s fencing program. A four-time Northeast Fencing Conference Coach of the Year, he has built MIT fencing into a perennial powerhouse, qualifying 44 fencers to the NCAA Championship and guiding the Engineers to 20 New England Championship titles during his tenure.
Koniusz began his intercollegiate coaching career at Baruch College in 1990, first taking the helm of the men’s program. The following season, he was charged with leading both the men’s and women’s squads. After a two-year hiatus, Koniusz returned to the college ranks with his appointment at MIT in 1994, becoming just the second coach in the history of the women’s program.
Coached by Ed Korfanty, the current U.S. Olympic Team Coach who led Mariel Zagunis to Olympic gold medals in 2004 and 2008, Koniusz competed internationally for Poland’s national team for nearly two decades. He earned two individual medals at the World Championships (bronze in 1981 and silver in 1989) and was a gold medalist at the World Cup. In June 2012, Koniusz was appointed as a board member of the Korfanty Sports Foundation, whose mission is to increase support for fencing in the United States.
Koniusz holds a master’s of science degree from the Academy of Physical Education in Katowice, Poland and has earned the title of fencing master in sabre, epee, and foil. In 2002, he was honored by the Polish Fencing Federation with a Lifetime Achievement Award, given to the fencer who has made a lasting contribution to Polish fencing in its 75-year history. The same year Koniusz was selected by the U.S. Fencing Federation to coach the United States sabre team in the World Cup competition held at Koblenz, Germany. He also assisted with the bronze-medal winning U.S. men’s sabre team at the 2010 Junior World Championship in Baku, Azerbaijan.