July 27, 1999
CAMBRIDGE, MA -- Harvard has announced the hiring of Peter Brand as its head coach of men's and women's fencing. Brand spent the last six years as the head men's and women's coach at Brown University and previously served as an assistant coach at MIT.
Brand, a native of Israel who emigrated to the United States at age 13 and now lives in Needham, replaces Ben Zivkovic, who retired after 23 seasons at Harvard.
At Brown, Brand guided a successful program that regularly sent qualifiers to the NCAA National Championships, including three members of last year's team. He coached the Bears' women's team to a pair of New England championships (1994 and 1995), while the men's squad captured the 1993 New England title. Brand was the Northeast Collegiate Fencing Conference's 1994-95 Coach of the Year. One of his fencers, Peter Cox, was selected to the 1996 United States Olympic Team.
Prior to his appointment at Brown, Brand spent 10 seasons as an assistant men's and women's coach at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
"This is one of the highlights of my life," said Brand. "It's what I've been working toward for a long time...the opportunity to devote myself full-time to a program. I believe my experiences at both Brown and MIT have prepared me well for this challenge."
Brand has an extensive background as a competitor as well. In 1972, he was chosen to the U.S. Junior Fencing Team and one year later was a gold medalist at the Ottawa Shield, one of three elite fencing events held in Canada. He placed seventh at the 1975 Canadian National Championships and third at the 1985 U.S. Championships. Brand participated in the 1987 U.S. Olympic Sports Festival, then in 1989 was a gold medalist for the U.S. at the Maccabiah Games.
He takes the helm of a Harvard program that traces its roots back to 1889 and has been among the school's more successful teams over time. Only three men have coached the Crimson since 1931: Rene Peroy (1931-51); Edo Marion (1952-76); and Zivkovic (1977-99).
Brand and his wife, Jacqueline, have two sons: Alexander (age 11) and Michael (age 5).
For additional information, contact the Harvard Sports Media
Office at 617/495-2206.