Ed Korfanty was born in Poland and started fencing at age 16. He developed into a top-ranked fencer in Poland and fenced a number of years on the Polish Junior and Senior National teams. In this era, the Polish team was considered to be one of the strongest in the world. Korfanty graduated from the renowned Academy of Physical Education in Katowice, Poland, with a master's degree in Physical Education and a Master of Fencing degree. By 1984 he had become the head coach at the Olympic Center in Katowice, Poland, and coach of the Polish National Team. Under his guidance the Polish team flourished and in 1989 he received the award from the Minister of Sport and Culture in Poland for excellent achievements in sport. In 1990, Coach Korfanty immigrated to the United States and became assistant fencing coach at the University of Notre Dame.
In 1993 he was recruited by Colleen Olney to come to the Oregon Fencing Alliance (OFA) as head coach. Olney was coaching and developing OFA into a powerful center of fencing in all three weapons of sabre, foil and epee. Maestro Korfanty’s first student to make historical progress in U.S. fencing was Seth Kelsey. As a cadet epee fencer, Kelsey made the Cadet, Junior and Senior US National teams in one season. No fencer prior to this had made three age group national teams in the same season. Under Korfanty’s direction, the Oregon Fencing Alliance moved to become a one-weapon club in 2000, concentrating on sabre. The accomplishments of his students since then have been extraordinary and unmatched in the history of fencing throughout the U.S. and world.
Korfanty’s students have won more than 41 World Championship medals, two Olympic Gold Medals (2008 Beijing, 2004 Athens) and three Olympic Bronze Medals (2008 Beijing). Additionally with Korfanty as National Coach, the U.S. Women’s Sabre team has won 5 Gold medals in the Team World Championships. Add the individual and team medals won at the World Championships and the medal count increases by 9.
His most recognized student is Mariel Zagunis, who started her fencing career with him at age 10. She has won an unprecedented 3 individual World Championship Gold medals (Cadet in 2001, Junior in 2001, Junior in 2005) and the first Olympic Gold medal for U.S. fencing since the era of modern fencing. In 2008 Zagunis won her second Olympic title in Beijing. She has been a member of all five teams that won World Championship gold medals for U.S. Fencing. In 2006 Zagunis also won the NCAA sabre championship. Other notable students include Caitlin Thompson - 2004 Cadet World Champion, Rebecca Ward: 2005 FIE overall Jr. World Champion - 2006 Cadet World Champion - 2006 Jr. World Champion - 2006 Jr. World Team Champion member, Patrick Ghattas and William Thanhouser.
Adam Skarbonkiewicz was the U.S. National Saber Champion in 1996. He has over 15 years of competitive experience and more than 20 years of coaching experience. As a teenager in Poland he was a student of our Head Coach Ed Korfanty. Adam came to the United States and would become the No. 1 U.S. ranked fencer from 1994-97. He won 11 North American Cups between 1994-99. Adam qualified to the U.S. Olympic team in 1996 but disappointingly was unable to convert his citizenship in time for the entry deadline.
Adam first came to the Oregon Fencing Alliance in 1994 as a competitive fencer by way of Poland and Rochester Fencing Center. He retired from competitive fencing to become our Assistant Coach from 1996-2005. During this time he also led the Oregon Episcopal School fencing programs. In 2005 Adam became Assistant Fencing Coach at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
He returned to OFA in the summer of 2012 as our Assistant Coach. Adam has completed the Master of Coaching/Fencing receiving his degree from the University of Physical Education in Katowice, Poland and received a BS from Portland State University. He enjoys windsurfing, skiing, and tennis and also exploring new activities with his wife, Brynn, and his three children, Max, Magda, and Milena.
Ian Farr, who joined OFA full-time in 2018, has a strong coaching background from the club to the college level, and a deep connection with our club, Portland and Head Coach Ed Korfanty. Ian came to us from the Midwest Fencing Club in Chicago, where he was head coach.
Ian, who grew up in Portland, was an OFA fencer and trained under Coach Korfanty until he joined the sabre team at Penn State University in 2003. He was an NCAA All-American in 2004 and in 2007, when Penn State won the NCAA National Championship.
Ian began his coaching career in 2009, when he led the women’s sabre team at Northwestern University. In 2010 Ian joined the coaching staff at the University of Notre Dame, and over four years coached nine Irish sabre All-Americans. From 2014 to 2018, he was the head coach at the Midwest Fencing Club, mentoring youth fencers and coaching at regional events, NACs and international competitions. One of his fencers qualified and competed at the 2017 Men's Sabre Cadet World Championships.
Ian has a master’s degree in sports administration. He and his wife, Sara, have a daughter, Violet.
Anna Anguelova Atanassov has been with OFA since 2000. She was a member of the Bulgarian National Fencing Team from 1985 to 1999 and then again in 2001. She was Olympic team member representing Bulgaria and their team captain from 1990-98. She is a graduate of the National Academy of Sport in Sofia with a degree as Physical Fitness teacher and a Masters in Fencing. Anna is a highly rated referee in both foil and sabre. Although Anna's first love is foil, she has enjoyed adapting to sabre and brings enthusiasm and high energy to all her classes.
Cathy Zagunis has served as director of programs for the Oregon Fencing Alliance since 1998. Her responsibilities at OFA include management of fencing programs and coaches, the club’s community programs, accounting, marketing, organizing of camps, and assistance to U.S. National Women’s Sabre Coach Ed Korfanty.
Cathy is a former national champion, world championship team member and Olympic team member in rowing. Her daughter, Mariel, is a four-time Olympian in women’s sabre and the most decorated U.S. fencer in history.
Cathy served as USA Fencing Women’s Sabre Squad manager from 2005 to 2017. Previously she served as manager of U.S. fencing teams at junior and cadet world championships from 1999 to 2001. She is a past chairwoman of the Oregon Division of the U.S. Fencing Association, and has served as secretary of the USFA’s Pacific Northwest section since 1999.
Before joining OFA, Cathy worked as a critical care nurse and shift supervisor in the Emergency Department of Providence Hospital in Portland.