William G. Ambrose
Cross Country And Fencing Coach’s Teams Made History. Upon joining the mathematics faculty in the fall of 1965, Coach Ambrose was instrumental in establishing cross country and fencing at Pingry. The cross country team, which was formed that fall, was intended to prepare boys for winter athletics and develop distance runners for spring track. Fencing started as a club in the 1965-66 season and then expanded to a varsity team. During 12 seasons as head coach of the cross country team, from 1965 to 1976, Coach Ambrose amassed a record of 100 wins, 53 losses, and 2 ties. The 1976 team was the most successful cross country team in Pingry’s history at the time. He guided the fencing team through the 1972-73 season, when the team enjoyed the best season in Pingry history with a record of 11 wins and 1 loss. The 1972-73 team won the Grand Slam in the New Jersey Independent School Athletic Association tournament by sweeping all three weapon trophies and the overall trophy by doing so, Pingry became the first private school in history to win the Grand Slam in two consecutive years. The Italian News Tribune said the 1972-73 team was “perhaps the strongest high school epee team ever put together in New Jersey,” while The PIngry Review (June 1973) wrote of Coach Ambrose: “The outstanding success of fencing at Pingry is due in great part to his skillful coaching, insistence on detail, and his ability to make champions out of good raw material.” In addition, many of Coach Ambrose’s players won individual awards in both sports and enjoyed successful college and post-college careers.