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Columbia Athletics | February 23, 2015

Ex-Penn head coach Bagnoli hired at Columbia

NEW YORK -- Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger and incoming Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education Peter Pilling have named Al Bagnoli, a nine-time Ivy League Football Champion and the all-time winningest head coach in NCAA Football Championship Subdivision history, as Columbia’s Patricia and Shepard Alexander Head Coach of Football.

“As a great urban research university, we are committed to excellence in everything we do,” said Bollinger.

“Over the past decade, Columbia Athletics has built a new winning tradition, enhancing the collegiate experience for thousands of student-athletes and our campus community. Our hiring of a uniquely accomplished teacher and coach like Al Bagnoli sends a powerful signal that we intend to ensure that Columbia football is part of that new winning tradition.”

Bagnoli comes to Columbia after 23 years at Pennsylvania, where he totaled a 148-80 overall record and 112-49 record in the Ivy League.  His Penn teams won nine Ivy League Championships, including six undefeated conference marks (1993, 1994, 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010) and three perfect seasons (10-0 in 1993 and 2003, 9-0 in 1994).

Just three years ago, Penn went 6-4 overall, but 6-1 in the Ivy League to win the outright Ivy League title.

“[Al] Bagnoli is one of the most successful coaches to ever work in the Ivy League. He is a proven winner whose record speaks for itself -- and who teaches his student-athletes to win on the field, in the classroom and in life,” said Pilling.

“We are thrilled that he has decided to commit his widely admired leadership to building the long-term success of Columbia Football.”

Between 2009-2012, Penn won three of four Ivy League titles outright -- a feat which had not been accomplished since 1977-80, but Bagnoli has done twice since 2000. He is the only coach in Ivy League history to win back-to-back undefeated Ivy League titles and he has done so three separate times.

“It is with great appreciation and excitement that I begin a new chapter in my coaching life at Columbia,” said Bagnoli. “I am very grateful to have been chosen to represent one of our nation's premier academic institutions that is also committed to excellence in athletics. I eagerly await the opportunity to work alongside a talented group of student athletes, a passionate alumni base and a dedicated university administration.”

During his tenure at Penn, Bagnoli built winning records against all seven Ivy League teams.  He has coached more than 186 All-Ivy League players, including seven first-team All-Americans, four NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship winners, two Ivy League Rookie of the Year, five Asa A. Bushnell Cup winners as the Ivy League’s Most Valuable Player, three players drafted to the National Football League and 14 NFL free agents.

Prior to his time at Penn, Bagnoli was the head coach of Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. where he amassed an 86-19 overall record in 10 seasons. 

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