Over the next week, GoDuke.com will honor the seven 2013 Duke Athletics Hall of Fame inductees with their own Hall of Fame Spotlight, a seven-question interview that covers their time at Duke, the people that most influenced their remarkable careers, their advice to current student-athletes, and more.
Next up, legendary Duke fencer, Matt Andresen. Andresen, a native of Chapel Hill, N.C., was a four-time All-America pick as a member of the Blue Devil fencing team from 1989-93. He posted a career record of 122-25 and carded four top-10 finishes in NCAA Championship competition including a career-best fourth-place showing in men’s epee in 1989. Andresen, the program’s initial competitor to appear in the NCAA Championships and Duke’s first All-America fencer, also registered national placements of fifth (1993) and eighth (1990 & 1992). He topped the 30-win plateau three times during his career with a career-best 39 victories during the 1990 season. A two-time member of Team USA, Andresen competed at the World Junior Championships in Greece in 1989 and Austria in 1990.GoDuke.com: Why did you choose Duke?
Matt Andresen: I was excited to attend a school with a vibrant academic program and a vibrant athletic program. And I think Duke is a place where you can really do that.
GoDuke.com: What was your proudest sports-related moment at Duke?
MA: When I won the under-20 national championships. I told my coach that I wouldn’t lose a bout the whole day. I told him at the beginning of the day and then I didn’t lose a bout. I was excited to make a crazy pronouncement and actually follow through with it.
GoDuke.com: What was your fondest memory of Duke outside of sports?
MA: I really liked freshman year. My fondest recollection is all the kids from all over the country coming together on North Campus – it was great. We were away from the main campus and there was a real sense of community and all these amazing kids from all over the country with all these different talents, all coming together in one place. And eventually you find your group and you hang out with them the rest of the time, but that freshman year, being around all these different people, that was really unique.
GoDuke.com: Who had the most influence on you during your time at Duke?
MA: My coach, Alex Beguinet. He was a great role model for me, super organized and super honorable. And he really preached integrity and a high sense of personal responsibility – it eventually took hold.
GoDuke.com: What advice do you have for current Duke student-athletes?
MA: Enjoy your time, but also I spent a lot of time in college worried about what I was going to do after college. Duke is a very elite institution. There’s a lot of peer pressure and school pressure to have that figured out, but my advice is to not worry about having that figured out. I graduated with no job and it all sorted out.
GoDuke.com: What separates Duke from other schools athletically?
MA: The integrity and sense of community. I came to Duke basketball camp when I was in the fifth grade, and it was totally obvious from the minute you walked in that this was a place that demanded integrity and demanded excellence. And I think that it’s a credit to Coach K. It’s filtered through all of the sports. When you think about the kids you meet, they’re all bred in the same lab – all super high integrity, super smart and super great kids.
GoDuke.com: What is your reaction when you hear your name and ‘Duke Athletics Hall of Famer’ in the same sentence?
MA: Honestly you still have to pinch me – I still can’t believe it. I’m a serious candidate for number one Duke fan. I grew up in Chapel Hill and was taught to be a Tar Heel fan and came over to Duke. I’m just very honored and very humbled to be a part of it.