Charlotte Remenyik made history both as the first woman to coach a men’s varsity team at Ohio State and as the first woman to coach both men and women concurrently. She was the first woman in the Midwest to coach both the men’s and women’s sections of a varsity fencing squad and for the majority of her career was the only women in the country coaching an NCAA Division I team.
Remenyik’s career at Ohio State began in 1978-79 as the women’s head coach and in the fall of 1980 she took over the men’s program as well.
In all, she guided the Buckeyes for 21 seasons – from 1978 through 1999. During her career, Remenyik never had a losing season and she produced 27 All-Americans and one NCAA champion. She coached the Ohio State women to four-consecutive Big Ten championships from 1981-84 (before the competition was discontinued by the conference in 1987) and four unofficial Big Ten team titles, with both men and women from Ohio State claiming Big Ten individual championships. Four of her women’s fencers have been inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame: De Ann Dobesh (1986-89), Yelena Kalkina (1997-99), Coreen Richter (1981-84) and Patricia Szelle (1995-98).
Nationally, Remenyik served two consecutive terms on the NCAA Sports Committee for Fencing. The committee was responsible for designing the format for the NCAA women’s championships.
Born in Hungary, Remenyik represented her country in international competition, including a fifth-place finish at the 1954 World University Games. She immigrated to the United States in 1956 and continued her competitive career. From 1969-73 she attended W.R. Harper College in Palatine, Ill., where she received an associates degree. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Northeastern Illinois University in 1973. That same year, she started her coaching career at Northwestern University, where she established a varsity fencing program. In honor of her contributions, an annual meet was established, which still exists today. She also taught the sport to men and women at Triton College in Illinois.
Learn more about Charlotte Remenyik from The Carmen Collection: https://carmencollection.osu.edu/story/forging-her-own-path