Controversy brewed when Penn State fired extremely successful fencing coach Emmanuil Kaidanov in August 2013, but his replacement has kept the program in good shape and now has an individual honor to show for it.
Wieslaw ‘Wes’ Glon was named the 2014 Coach of the Year by the United States Fencing Coaches Association on Tuesday after leading the fencers to their 13th national title this season. Glon led the men’s fencers to a 22-3 record and the women to a 16-10 record; overall, eight fencers were named All-Americans. Despite the honor, Glon is still the interim head coach, according to wording in the press release, and referred to as an associate head coach on the fencing roster page. He’s been on staff for 28 years.
“His outstanding technical expertise and superior leadership culminated in Penn State winning the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Fencing Championship in 2014,” said Maestro Abdel Salem, President of the USFCA, in the press release. “In addition, he has contributed greatly to the development of fencing in the United States by serving as national team coach, internationally certified referee, and member of the US Fencing board of directors for many years. He is an excellent example to the members of his team, his assistant coaches, and all our member coaches.”
Glon was named the interim head coach in August after Kaidanov’s firing. Kaidanov was legendary, staying at Penn State for 31 years and notching a dozen national titles along the way. He was fired by a university moral officer after an incident involving illegal drugs in February 2013 — a staff assistant reported that a player had the drugs to the athletic department before going to Kaidanov, to which he didn’t take kindly. Penn State deemed this cause to fire Kaidanov under Policy AD67: Disclosure of Wrongful Conduct and Protection from Retaliation. Students spoke out in support of Kaidanov, but that did not change the university’s decision.