Roar, Lion, Roar: A Celebration of Columbia Football

Recent Days > Coach Al Bagnoli

Columbia Spectator Article

November 29, 2018 Spectator article titled “Football secures first back-to-back winning seasons in 56 years” featuring a photo of Coach Al Bagnoli. 2018 was the first time the team had back-to-back winning seasons since 1962.

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Al Bagnoli and a Football Renaissance

Nine-time Ivy League Football Champion and one of the all-time winningest head coaches in NCAA football history, Al Bagnoli was named Columbia’s Patricia and Shepard Alexander Head Coach of Football on February 23, 2015. He begins his fifth season at Columbia in 2019.

Nationally known for his ability to turn football programs into winners, Bagnoli arrived at Columbia after 23 years at the University of 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.

True to his reputation, Bagnoli and his coaching staff have Columbia Football trending upward. During his first year at Columbia in 2015, Bagnoli made an immediate impact as he guided the Lions to a victory over Wagner, which ended the program’s 24-game losing streak. The team also registered its first Ivy League win in three years over Yale.

In 2017 Bagnoli (2017 Ivy League Coach of the Year) guided Columbia to its best season since 1996 as the Lions accumulated an 8-2 record and finished second in the Ivy League with a 5-2 campaign. For the first time in 21 years, Columbia was involved in the Ivy League Championship chase up until the season’s final minutes. In addition, Columbia began a season with six straight wins for the first time since 1996 and put together the school’s longest win streak since 1935 (seven games).

In 2018 the Lions achieved its first pair of back-to-back winning seasons since 1962. The 14 wins in two seasons are the most since Columbia joined the Ivy League in 1956.

South Field Walk-through Practice

South Field Walk-through Practice, 2016. Courtesy of Columbia Athletics.

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