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Former Viking Head Coach Bill Reith Elected to USA Fencing Hall of Fame

Bill Reith

Former Cleveland State University fencing student-athlete and head fencing coach William Reith has been announced as a member of the incoming class for the USA Fencing Hall of Fame.

Maestro William Reith will be formally inducted into the USA Fencing Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the 2019 USA Fencing Summer Nationals in Columbus, Ohio.

Every year professional members of the United States Fencing Association vote for four athletes and three coaches to be inducted into the USA Fencing Hall of Fame. Reith was the leading vote-getter in the coaches category in the most recent such election.

Reith fenced for Cleveland State from 1964, when it was Fenn College, until 1968. He was a two-time NCAA Championships qualifier and posted 110 victories as a collegian.

Reith was named the head coach at Cleveland State in 1995, serving in that role until 2001. During his time at CSU, 11 student-athletes earned appearances at NCAA Championships while five claimed All-America accolades, including two of the First Team variety.

While he has played a significant role in Cleveland State's fencing history, Reith's achievements and impact on the sport have a much more far-reaching impact.

After graduation, Reith went on to represent the United States at the 1974, 1975 and 1977 Fencing World Championships. In 1975, he was a part of the gold-medal winning USA Pan-American epee team.

Reith earned his Fencers Masters certification, Canadian Fencing Coaches Association, US Fencing Masters Association and International Academy of Arms in 1986.

Reith was the coach for multiple Cadet and Junior World Championship teams. In 1984 he was the assistant coach for the United States Olympic Team. Reith was also the coach of the 1987 World University Games in Yugoslavia and served as armorer for the U.S. teams to World Championships, World University Games, and World Junior Championships.

Three of Reith's students have competed for the United States at the Olympic Games. Steve Trevor competed at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, Jon Normile competed at the 1992 Olympics and Jason Pryor competed at the 2016 Olympics. USA Fencing also announced that Normile will be inducted into the USA Fencing Hall of Fame alongside Maestro Reith.

Reith has taught fencing in the Cleveland area for the last 38 years, including coaching the Shaker Fencing Club to two women's and one men's state titles. He has also helped organize fencing competitions in the Cleveland area, including four U.S. Junior Olympic Championships and the 1985 U.S. National Championship. He has worked with the USFA Fencing Officials Commission, refereeing at class 1 level epee, class 2 level foil, and class 5 level sabre and has refereed at the International World Cup level in epee.

Reith was inducted into the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame in 1996. He was also selected as an official scorekeeper for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.