Christian Brothers Academy Athletics


CBA Names Ali Shafaie New Head Fencing Coach


CBA Athletics | 7/13/2023

Christian Brothers Academy is pleased to welcome Ali Shafaie as the new head coach of the varsity fencing program. He replaces longtime head coach Mary Mottola, who is stepping away from the position after leading the Colts for a decade.

Shafaie has had a decorated career in the sport since his days competing in youth fencing events, including achieving an A-rating in both the foil and epee weapons.

“On behalf of the entire CBA community, I am thrilled to welcome our new head fencing coach Ali Shafaie, who comes to CBA with an impressive range of experiences at the local, regional, and national levels," said Director of Athletics Michael Mazzaccaro ‘11. “Coach Mottola built CBA Fencing from the ground up into the excellent program we have today. I have the utmost confidence that Coach Shafaie will uphold CBA's tradition of excellence while educating our athletes to become better young men and fencers.”

Shafaie is currently a full-time fencing coach at the Freehold Fencing Academy, where he has helped develop the next generation of young fencers. In addition to coaching, Shafaie is a certified referee, officiating both local NJSIAA bouts as well as national events.

His interactions with the CBA fencers as a referee are what interested Shafaie in the position.

“The CBA coaching job is something I am attracted to because of the character the student-athletes showed when I refereed here last season,” he said. “Before and after every bout, they displayed great sportsmanship and respect for not only their opponents, but the referee as well. The school as a whole emphasizes the importance of displaying honor and integrity.”

Shafaie has also been a referee since 2011 and a coach since 2015 at the USA Fencing National Championships, including this summer in Phoenix, Arizona. He has been both a competitor and coach at multiple levels of the North American Cup.

A fencer since a young age, Shafaie notched a gold medal in the 2017 Nationals in the division three men’s epee, which complimented multiple national medals won in the foil weapon. He continued to fence in college with the Rutgers University club team, including a third place foil finish at the Collegiate Club Nationals.

He has fenced internationally for the United States at the senior level in the Satellite World Cup in London, where he even got to face the current world number two ranked fencer from Italy.

Shafaie is excited to use his experiences as a competitor and coach with CBA student-athletes.

“I can offer these student-athletes guidance in several different aspects and my experiences will give the CBA fencers an advantage on the strip,” he said. “I will also emphasize the importance of conditioning, because the biggest high school events are long days. We want to be the school that is winning team titles and we want our qualifying individuals to win their events. This is only possible if our fencers have the energy to fence at a high level the entire day.”

The Colts are coming off a solid winter season, including winning both matches with local rival Holmdel and finishing in the top-10 at the Cetrulo Tournament.

CBA has been a past Cetrulo Tournament winner and was the 2017 NJSIAA District Champion, two feats that Shafaie believes they will accomplish again in the near future.

“Once we are in the tournament, I truly believe that anything can happen, and we would have a chance to win 14 bouts against any other squad,” he said. “I want the entire team to develop a love for fencing so that they continue to fence year-round. If we can have our fencers training all year long, the team will undoubtedly improve and we will always be a contending team.”