The most proficient and accomplished member of the sports department here at Cornell is not a highly touted goalie or a star lacrosse defenseman; it is the once world champion and newly hired fencing coach Iryna Dolgikh. By accepting the job, Dolgikh will replace Al Peters, becoming the Red’s seventh head coach in program history.
Although this is her first head-coaching job, Dolgikh has been around fencing all her life. By agreeing to join the Red, she leaves her post as the assistant coach for the Penn State squad, a position she had held for the past three seasons. During her tenure with the Nittany Lions, Dolgikh helped the team get to the national championship match twice –in 2003 and ’04. Apart from her past job, Dolgikh has coached in the Ukraine, Moscow, Bratislava and as a private coach here in the United States. Aside from her achievements on the sideline as a coach, Dolgikh has received numerous accolades as a fencer herself.
After competing on the Soviet Union’s Junior World Team in the mid-1970s, she continued on to the USSR Spartakiad in ’75 where she won a bronze medal for her performance in the event. From there, Dolgikh went on to compete in the ’76 World Championship where she emerged triumphant, boasting the title of world champion and was then off to strut her stuff in ’77 World Cup where she won top honors, being awarded the competition’s gold medal. Aside from her fencing successes, Dolgikh finished her schooling, graduating from the Kiev Institute of Physical Culture in 1980.
Archived article by Ben Kopelman
Sun Staff Writer