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Our Coaches

All Riverside coaches are professional members of USA Fencing, and all are experienced classroom teachers, as well. 

 
Head coach, Taro Yamashita

Taro Yamashita

Head coach Taro Yamashita has a passion for teaching and coaching fencing. Understanding that the ideas given to a beginner are the foundations upon which champions are built, Taro is actively engaged in teaching all students at all levels of their development.

The teams and individuals Taro has worked with have achieved wonderful successes, from simply having a great time fencing to earning medals in local, regional, national, and international competitions.

Coach Yamashita competed for Brown University in both foil and epee from 1990-1994. A team captain from 1992 to 1994, he was the first ever Northeast Fencing Conference Individual Epee Champion in 1994, and now serves as the Commissioner of that conference. While Taro was at Brown, the Brown men's team won the New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference team championship all four years. Taro now sits on the NEIFC executive committee. 

After college, Taro trained under Bill Shipman for several years, won the New England Division championships, the North Atlantic Sectional Championships, and reached the finals of the Division 1-A National Championships. Taro was ranked as high as #34 in the USA. In international competition, Taro attained a ranking of #302 in the world in men's epee.

Taro has coaching certifications from both the US Fencing Association, and the US Fencing Coaches Association.

Taro has coached at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), Brandeis University, MIT, Brown University, and Mt. Holyoke College. "Mr. Yamashita" also taught 9th grade science at the Westfield (MA) high school.




Lisa Wolf

Assistant coach Lisa Wolf teaches the introductory lesson series for students new to fencing. She is also a nurse and the Director of Research for the Emergency Nursing Association. Lisa has been fencing at Riverside since 2009, and actively competes.

Lisa is currently (Dec 2016) ranked #8 in the USA in the Veteran Combined Women's Epee category.

 

Will Lawrie

Assistant coach Will Lawrie has been fencing since 7th grade, coached by Derrick Hoff at St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, NJ. After some success as a foilist in high school, Will fenced at Boston College for four years, coached by Syd Fadner. He was co-captain his junior and senior year. He helped lead his team to a 1st place finish in Foil and 1st place finish for the overall team event at the New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference Championships in 2003. His foil squad won the Silvio Vitale award (given to the best squad at the tournament).

Will is also an Elementary School Teacher and has taught in Massachusetts and Wisconsin.

Will joined the Riverside Fencing Club coaching staff in 2014.