Cole Harkness began fencing when he was 17 years old in San Jose, California. He was the assistant to Maitre John DeCesare before he joined the varsity team at San Jose State University, coached by Michael D’asaro. It was there that he met his teammate and now coworker, Dean Hinton. The men’s foil team was undefeated for two years until the varsity program was cut in 1985.
Cole moved to San Francisco at the invitation of Halberstadt Head Coach Maitre Peter Burchard, with whom Cole trained for national competition and worked as assistant coach for many years. He earned his “A” rating in foil and renewed it twice. Cole worked as Head Coach at Halberstadt Fencers Club from 1990 to 1994. Career highlights were taking a team bronze medal at the 1992 US National Championships and a silver medal at the 1990 Pacific Coast Championship by one touch to Dean Hinton. Cole also won the USFCA Fencing Master and Prevot championship in foil twice, epee once and took bronze in sabre twice.
Cole’s coaching certifications include a 3-weapon Fencing Master certification from the USFCA and the International Academy of Arms (AAI) and an A-Trainer certification from the German Olympic Training Center at Tauberbischoffsheim, Germany. His students have been medalists at the national level in foil and epee and the international level in foil. Cole has coached in the Youth Fencing Champions program for over 8 years.