March 3, 2017
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame head fencing coach Gia Kvaratskhelia announced Wednesday the addition of Aleks “Olek” Ochocki to his coaching staff. Ochocki will join the Irish as an assistant coach for sabre, replacing outgoing assistant Samir Ibrahimov.
Ochocki joins the Irish after five seasons as an assistant at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, and seven seasons as a coach at Linden, New Jersey’s Polish American Fencing School. Ochocki is also owner and head coach of Advance Fencing & Fitness Academy in Garwood, New Jersey.
“We were looking for a dynamic young sabre coach, and Aleks fits the bill perfectly,” Kvaratskhelia said. “As a two-time NCAA champion and international competitor, he brings tremendous experience to the position and has weight to his words. As a coach – both at Stevens Tech and at the club level – he has produced outstanding young fencers and national team members. He also has experience in the US national team coaching setup. As a result, he knows everyone in the fencing community – senior, junior and cadet – and they know him. Having Aleks with us is another big step towards my goal of having the unquestioned best staff in the country.”
Ochocki brings first-hand international, national and collegiate experience at an elite level. He has been a member of the United States National Team since 2005 at all levels; making cadet, junior and senior teams and winning national titles in every age group starting from Youth 12 all the way through the senior level.
Before beginning his coaching career full time, Ochocki served as a member of the U.S Senior National Team. He is a five-time time U.S National Champion, Pan American Champion, 15-time North American Cup champion, four-time Junior Olympic Champion and won the bronze medal with Team USA at the 2010 Junior World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. A 2016 Olympic hopeful, Ochocki’s pursuit was cut short due to four unexpected knee surgeries but finished his career ranked 24th in the world.
A 2012 graduate of Penn State, the four-time first-team All-American bookended his fencing career with NCAA Individual Sabre Championship titles in his freshman and senior seasons. Ochocki reached the semifinals of the competition in each of his four years and served as Penn State’s captain during his junior and senior years. He also represented the United States at the World University Games in Shenzhen, China in 2011.
Ochocki began his collegiate coaching career at Stevens Institute of Technology in 2012. In Ochocki’s second season, Stevens set a school record with 26 wins that included two different seven-match win streaks, while later taking second in Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Fencing Association Championships for the second year in a row. The Ducks improved as the season progressed, winning seven of their final eight matches and improving on the previous year’s bronze medal. In 2015 and 2016 the women’s program ranked No. 1 amongst Division III programs and won back-to-back conference championships.
In 2013, Ochocki founded the Advance Fencing & Fitness Academy. In just three years the club has been ranked the No. 1 Junior Women’s Saber Club by the National Fencing Club Rankings and a top 10 youth club in the country. His students have won over 30 national medals in all age categories, notably winning gold medals in cadet, junior and senior men’s and women’s events as well as seven World Cup medals. Two of his students have been selected as members of the Cadet and Junior Women’s National Teams and won a Bronze Medal at the 2016 Junior World Championships in Bourges, France. Ochocki has served as coach for Team USA at cadet and junior World Cups, and he coached the cadet men’s sabre team to a bronze medal at the World Cup in Godollo, Hungary. This season he coached the women’s junior team to two podium finishes, including gold in Costa Rica and bronze in Plovdiv, propelling their overall world ranking to No. 2.
Originally from Clark, New Jersey, Ochocki holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation, Park and Tourism Management with a Business Minor from Penn State. He is also fluent in Polish.