Coaches

Stephen Kovacs
RHS Boys Team Coach

Stephen Kovacs has over 15 years experience coaching all three weapons. For the past 5 years, he has specialized in his primary discipline of saber. Over his career, he has produced national champions, dozens of national medals, and garnered national media attention for his students’ accomplishments. 

A former Head Coach of Stevens Institute of Technology and Assistant Coach of Duke University, Coach Kovacs has experience with NCAA fencing at the highest level.

As an athlete, Kovacs held 5 junior national titles and 2 cadet, and placed 11th in the cadet world championships in Cabries en Calas, France. He held spots on several US teams and has coached athletes representing the United States at Cadet World Cups. Kovacs, also a schoolteacher for his entire coaching career, values the concept of a strong lesson plan and a methodical yet creative approach to a fencer’s education in sport and in life.

Dr. Glen Pernia
RHS Girls Team Coach
Dr. Glen Pernia is in his fourth year of teaching chemistry at RHS, where he is also the JV boys' soccer coach. Glen was born and raised in England and completed his bachelors and doctoral degrees at the University of Southampton, where he also obtained his soccer coaching certificate in 1993. Glen came to America in 1996 and ran his own soccer training company and indoor facility in Montclair. After Glen sold his share of the business he studied for his teaching certificate at Montclair State University and has been teaching since 2010. Glen has never fenced before but is keen to learn, and is looking forward to working with the athletes on fitness, strength and in any way that he can.
Nesi Calderon
Assistant Coach

Ms. Nesi Calderon has been teaching Spanish at Ridge for the past 16 years. Born in Argentina, Nesi moved to New York City as an infant when her father started working for the United Nations. Having graduated from Villanova University with a BA in History and Geography, spent the next ten years moving around the states as a military spouse and mother. Settling in New Jersey in 2000, Nesi went on to earn her Master's of Arts in Education from The College of New Jersey. Nesi is excited to be the new assistant fencing coach. While never a fencer, Nesi spent three years as a fencing mom a decade ago when her daughter fenced for North Hunterdon. She is looking forward to helping out the team in any way she can.

Zack Brown
Assistant Coach

Zack has successfully competed at the NJ high school, NCAA, national, and senior World Cup levels. He finished the 2016 Olympic season ranked 9th in the USA and has earned multiple national medals including a team gold medal at the 2017 National Championships.

In addition, he is a highly accomplished referee who has presided over NJ high school state finals, Junior Olympic finals, and USA Division 1 finals for the past several years. Last season, Zack earned his FIE B license and is officiating for the USA at cadet, junior, and senior World Cups. Zack is currently an A rated saber fencer who spars actively with our students to elevate their physical and tactical game.