Fencing Coach Marshal Davis Leads Team USA Juniors at the Maccabiah Games

PhillyBurbs.comLiberty Fencing boss coaching US Maccabiah Games team

Make a list of the most-popular competitive sports in the United States and it’s a pretty safe assumption fencing would rank awfully close to the bottom.

Marshal Davis, the head fencing coach at Swarthmore College, would like to change that. ...

Davis is one of the most-respected coaches in the country, which explains why he was named to coach the Team USA Juniors at the 19th Maccabiah Games in Israel [this summer].

“It’s an incredible honor and I’m very excited and humbled by the opportunity,” said Davis, who coached Team USA to 13 medals, including five gold, at the 2011 European Maccabi Games in Vienna, Austria. “That was all of Europe and then they invited, I think, the four-strongest non-European countries — the United States, Mexico, Brazil, and Australia.

“There were about 35 countries there, but this (the Maccabiah Games) is a much-bigger event.”

Davis and his fencers are but a small part of the approximately 1,100 athletes representing the US. The fencers are competing in three different classifications; Masters (for those over 40 years of age), Juniors (18 and under) and Open (for any age).

“The way the team was picked was based on the athlete’s national points standings,” said Davis, adding an Olympic silver medalist had applied to be a member of the squad. “The governing body for the United States is Maccabi USA; it’s a national organization that happens to be based in Philadelphia.” ...

The Maccabiah Games are held in Israel every four years in the year following the Summer Olympics.

They are sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee and rank as the world’s third-largest sporting event.

In his sixth year as coach after starting the fencing team at Swarthmore, Davis has built the program to be competitive at the national level. In 2010, Swarthmore hosted the Fencing National Championships, the largest in the event's history. Davis is the former captain of the University of Florida's sabre squad and former head coach of Temple Univerversity mens' club team. He is also an attorney in Bucks County, Pa.