Kaidanov, Emmanuil G.

Emanuil (Emik) Kaidanov– All-time most successful NCAA Coach

Head Coach, Penn State Penn State has won twelve NCAA team championships, the record, including championships in six consecutive years, also a record.
His men’s and women’s teams have a combined: 832-89 through 31 years (men 426-37 women 406-52)
Ten of his fencers have become Olympians.
At least three have become Junior World Champions
US National Training Director, 1998-99
Coach of US World Championship Team, 1985, ‘86
Coach or Captain of US World University Games Team, 1985, ’89, ’91, ’93, and 2011

Also coach of Maccabiah Games, World Junior Championships, and Pan American Junior Championship Teams
National, international, and Olympic referee
Author of numerous fencing publications
Emmanuil G. Kaidanov (kigh-DAN-off) is a fencing master and Head Coach of the Men’s and Women’s fencing teams at Penn State. Kaidanov immigrated to the United States in 1979 from the Soviet Union, where he had competed as a world-class fencer and served as a coach. He was a candidate for the U.S.S.R. National team in saber from 1958 to 1964. Kaidanov has been a fencing coach for over 40 years and is in his 31st year at Penn State. He has developed both the Men’s and Women’s teams into perennial NCAA Championship contenders with the men sporting a 403-36 record in dual meets (92 percent) and the women boasting a 392-41 mark (91 percent). He won his 600th career dual meet during the 2004-05 season, and reached his 700th victory during the 2009-10 season.

(courtesy of Carl Borack)

In 2010, Kaidanov led Penn State to its second consecutive NCAA team title, which is the Nittany Lions 12th. Placing the Lions firmly at the top of the NCAA fencing world. In the decade of the `90’s, his teams won back-to-back NCAA combined titles in 1990 and 1991 and finished second in 1992, 1993 and 1994. Penn State won a record six straight titles from 1995 to 2000. Penn State started the new decade in style with its sixth straight national championship (2000). After a second place finish in 2001, Penn State reclaimed the NCAA title with a superb effort in 2002. The Lions were runners-up in 2003, 2004 and 2006 before claiming the team title in 2007. After a fourth place finish in 2008, Penn State claimed titles in both 2009 and 2010.

(Photo by Carl Borack)

During Kaidanov’s tenure, the men’s team has finished in the top three in 25 out of 29 seasons, while the women’s squad has improved from 10th place in 1986 to first place six times in the `90s. For these accomplishments, Kaidanov was honored as the 1990, 1991 NCAA and 1996 USFCA Coach-of-the-Year. He shared this honor with his assistant coach, Wes Glon. Kaidanov graduated from the State College of Physical Education at Kharkov-USSR, where he earned a Master of Science in Physical Education, a Minor in Anatomy and Physiology, and a Master of the Sport of Fencing. His postgraduate studies include methods of teaching fencing, research methods, as well as sport and medical massage.

Kaidanov’s research publications include: methods of teaching fencing, specifics for teaching left-handed fencers, teaching fencers with physical disabilities, and exercises for better reaction time. Kaidanov has considerable experience on the international level. Between 1985 and 1993, he coached U.S. teams at the World Championships (`85, `86), World University Games (`85, `89, `91 and captain in `93), Maccabiah Games, Pan American Junior Championships and World Under-20 Championships. Kaidanov served as the United States Fencing Association’s National Training Director in 1998-99.


Kogler and Kaidanov, courtesy of Carl Borack


Kaidanov and Lewison – Photo by Carl Borack