Philadelphia Legendary Penn fencing coach Lajos Csiszar will have a tournament dedicated in his honor by two of his former players. Michael and Ann Morgan, of Fort Myers, Fla., are the primary sponsors of the 2005 Veterans World Championship at Tampa.
The tournament begins Sept. 2 at the Hyatt Regency Tampa City Center. The three-day, 12-event, contest will welcome more than 250 competitors from two dozen countries. The tournament is sanctioned by the Federation Internationale d'Escrime, the sport’s international governing body.
Csiszar, known to Pennsylvanians as, The Maestro, was the fencing coach at Penn for nearly three decades. He was regarded as one of the finest fencing masters in Europe when he left his native land. In his tenure he led the Quakers to two NCAA team championships (1953, 1969), and coached nine NCAA individual champions and 27 All-Americans.
Current fencing coach Dave Micahnik had this to say about Csiszar, “Maestro Csiszar was a great artist, mentor, and teacher. He believed that anyone could work hard to become a good fencer and was worthy of his every effort. He could take whatever talent a student brought to fencing and maximize his potential. No other coach could have helped me achieve what I was able to do, having started as no athlete at all. I am proud that his memory is being honored at this championship event.”
During his time at Penn Csiszar established the Salle Csiszar Club in Philadelphia for many of the outstanding fencers in the country to train. His club won several individual United States national championships, numerous national team championships, and regularly qualified competitors for USA Olympic and Pan-American Games. He coached the Olympic team in 1956, the Pan-American teams in 1963 and 1971 and the 1970 FIE World Championship Team.
Written by Matt Kirsch, athletic communications assistant