Football Coaching Staff
Al Bagnoli
Patricia and Shepard Alexander Head Coach of Football
Coach Info:
Position: Patricia and Shepard Alexander Head Coach of Football
Hometown: New Haven, Conn.
High School: East Haven H.S.
Alma Mater: Central Connecticut State
Graduating Year: 1975
Experience: 3 Years
Phone: 212-854-7062

Nine-time Ivy League Football Champion and one of the all-time winningest head coaches in NCAA Football Championship Subdivision history, Al Bagnoli was named Columbia’s Patricia and Shepard Alexander Head Coach of Football on February 23, 2015. He begins his fourth season at Columbia in 2018.


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, 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).


In 36 years as a head coach, Bagnoli’s career record currently stands at 248-115. His career winning percentage (68.3%) ranks second among active FCS coaches and sixth all-time among FCS coaches. His 248 victories rank as the 35th all-time total in the history of college football, second among active college football coaches at any level, sixth among all-time FCS coaches and first among active FCS coaches. Bagnoli’s 120 career Ivy League victories rank as the second highest total in league history. Players have achieved under Bagnoli as 27 of his former players were either drafted or signed a free agent contract by NFL teams, five earned the Ivy League’s Asa A. Bushnell Cup Award (league MVP), eight garnered First Team All-America honors, four received the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and 215 have secured All-Ivy League accolades.


“Al Bagnoli is one of the most successful coaches to ever work in the Ivy League," said Columbia Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Peter Pilling. "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. We are thrilled that he has decided to commit his widely admired leadership to building the long-term success of Columbia Football.”


After only three years and three consecutive top-25 nationally ranked recruiting classes, Bagnoli and his coaching staff have Columbia Football trending upward.


Last year, Bagnoli 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, put together the school’s longest win streak since 1935 (seven games) and posted one of the nation’s top-five best yearly comebacks in the FCS with a with a five-win improvement from 2016 to 2017. Along the way, it was the Lions’ resiliency, toughness and work ethic that captured the attention of their fans, the New York City media and national media members alike. For his efforts, Bagnoli was named a national Coach of the Year finalist by the AFCA and STATS FCS and earned the Ivy League, ECAC and AFCA Region 1 Coach of the Year honors.


In 2016, Bagnoli guided the Lions to three victories including Ivy League wins over Dartmouth and Brown, along with a non-conference win at Wagner. Five of Columbia’s seven losses were by 10 points or less and eight players earned All-Ivy League honors. Bagnoli’s incoming 2017 class also garnered honors among the nation’s top-25 FCS recruiting classes.


During his first year at Columbia in 2015, Bagnoli made an immediate impact in his first year at the helm as he guided Columbia to a victory over Wagner, which ended the program’s 24-game losing streak and registered its first Ivy League win in three years over Yale. The Lions were competitive as six of their eight losses came by 10 points or less. The 2015 Lions had eight representatives on the All-Ivy League team. In the offseason, Bagnoli brought in the nation’s No. 3 ranked FCS recruiting class, a group which saw 21 players earn significant playing time in 2016.


“It is with great appreciation and excitement that I begin a new chapter in my coaching life at Columbia,” said Bagnoli after accepting the Columbia post. “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.”


Bagnoli was introduced as the 21st head coach at the University of Pennsylvania in January of 1992. His mission was to restore the pride of a program that, despite winning six Ivy banners in 10 seasons, had slipped with three consecutive losing campaigns. Between 2009-12, Penn won three of four Ivy League titles outright—a feat which had not been accomplished since 1977-80—but Bagnoli has accomplished two times 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.


Bagnoli won his 100th game at Penn at the start of the 2006 season with the Quakers knocking off No. 22 Lafayette on the road in the season opener. In the final week of the 2008 campaign, the Quakers captured the 200th career win in Bagnoli’s illustrious career. There have been only five other FCS coaches in NCAA history to accomplish that feat.


The 2010 season did not just mark another championship year, but also another undefeated season for the Quakers under Bagnoli. For the third time in his tenure, Penn had back-to-back undefeated Ivy seasons, going unbeaten in 2009 as well. No other coach in Ivy League history has ever led a team to back-to-back perfect seasons in League play, while Bagnoli has done so three times. Penn set an NCAA record with an even more impressive streak that carried Bagnoli and the Quakers through nearly three seasons. The program won 24 consecutive games between 1993-95, the longest win streak in FCS history, en route to winning back-to-back undefeated Ivy championships in 1993 and 1994.


Bagnoli's Quakers own the three longest Ivy winning streaks in league history, including a 20-game Ivy unbeaten streak from 2001-04 and more recently, a string of 18 straight Ivy wins from 2008-2011. 


Prior to his time at Penn, Bagnoli served as the head coach of Union College in Schenectady, New York, where he amassed an 87-18 overall record in 10 seasons. Bagnoli made his collegiate head coaching debut at Union College in 1982, guiding the Dutchmen to their first winning season in 12 years with an 8-1 record. The following season, Bagnoli guided the program to an NCAA Division III title-game appearance and a 10-2 record, garnering East Region Coach of the Year honors.


The Dutchmen were named the ECAC’s Team of the Year for the 1983 campaign. Union reached the NCAA playoffs six times and posted 10-consecutive winning seasons during Bagnoli’s tenure in Schenectady. In 1989, Bagnoli guided the Dutchmen to the program’s greatest season ever, rolling to a 10-0 regular-season record and three-straight NCAA playoff victories en route to the NCAA Division III National Championship game (Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl). Two years later, Bagnoli received the Eastman Kodak Award as the American Football Coaches Association Region I Coach of the Year. Bagnoli’s 1991 Union team had the nation’s top scoring offense, averaging 46.1 points per game, while his 1984 squad boasted the top defense, allowing a measly 4.6 points per game. Before being named head coach of the Dutchmen, Bagnoli served as Union’s defensive coordinator from 1978-82.


Bagnoli is a two-time recipient (1993 and 1994) of the Scotty Whitelaw Award as the NCAA Division I-AA Coach of the Year, voted upon by the Metropolitan New York Football Writers Association.


Bagnoli is a member of the FCS rules committee for the AFCA. In 1989, he was the selection chairman of the Albany Chapter of the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame, which he established. From 1987 to 1991, Bagnoli served as a panel member of the New York State Task Force on Athletics. In addition, Bagnoli was also the Eastern Regional Chairperson for the NCAA Division III All-America teams from 1984 to 1986.


His coaching career began while he was pursuing his master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Albany. He served as a graduate assistant coach for one season before becoming Albany’s defensive coordinator from 1976-77.


Bagnoli earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education and history from Central Connecticut State in 1975. During his undergrad years, he played three seasons of varsity football. Central Connecticut State’s record during that span was 23-5.


Bagnoli and his wife, Maryellen, reside in Riverdale, N.Y. Their oldest son, Jeff, graduated in 2003 from the College of Arts and Sciences at Penn, while his youngest son Greg graduated from Penn in the spring of 2005. Both lettered and served as captains for the Quakers’ sprint football team and also played on the club ice hockey team. Jeff was a member of Penn’s 2000 undefeated sprint football championship team, while both won a title on the club hockey team in 2002. Bagnoli’s daughter, Amanda, graduated from Penn in 2008 and was a member of the Quakers’ cheerleading team..



Date announced as Columbia Head Coach: February 23, 2015

Birthdate: January 20, 1953

Hometown: New Haven, Conn.



Bachelor of Arts, Physical Education/History, Central Connecticut State University, 1975; Master’s Degree, Educational Administration, University at Albany, 1977; East Haven High School



Wife Maryellen; sons Greg and Jeff and daughter Amanda


Coaching Career

Head Football Coach, Columbia University, 2015-current

Head Football Coach, University of Pennsylvania, 1992-2014

Head Football Coach, Union College, N.Y., 1982-91

Defensive Coordinator, Union College, N.Y., 1978-82

Defensive Coordinator, University at Albany, 1976-77

Graduate Assistant, University at Albany, 1975


Coaching Accomplishments

National Coach of the Year finalist by the AFCA and STATS FCS … Earned AFCA Region 1, Ivy League and ECAC Coach of the Year honors following the 2017 season at Columbia … Led Columbia to its best season in 21 years in 2017 (2nd place Ivy League finish, 8-2 record, 5-2 league record) … Guided Penn to nine Ivy League Championships (1993, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012) … Guided Union College, N.Y. to two NCAA Division III Championship title game appearances (Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl) in 1983 and 1989 … Led Union to six NCAA Division III Playoff appearances (1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1989 and 1991) … Scotty Whitelaw Division I-AA Coach of the Year Award, Metropolitan New York FWA (1993, 1994) ... AFCA’s Eastman Kodak Region I Coach of the Year Award, 1991 … Maxwell Club Tri-State Coach of the Year, 2002 … Inducted into the Union College Athletic Hall of Fame, 2004 … Only Ivy League coach to guide a team to back-to-back undefeated records in league play … Led Penn to 24 consecutive wins between 1993 and 1994, the longest all-time win streak in FCS history.


Playing Career

Played three years of varsity football at Central Connecticut State (1972-74) … Helped lead the Blue Devils to a three-year 23-5 overall record during that span.




NFL Draft Picks: 3

Players coached who have signed NFL free agent contracts: 24

Asa A. Busnell Cup Winners (Ivy League MVP): 5

Ivy League Rookie of the Year: 2

First Team All-Americans: 8

NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarships earned: 4

All-Ivy League First Team selections: 129

All-Ivy League selections: 215




Vince Alexander (2000-02) New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals

Brandon Copeland (2013) Baltimore Ravens

Sean Estrada (2003-06) San Francisco 49ers

Stephen Faulk (2000-02) San Francisco 49ers

*Jim Finn (1995-98) Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants

*Jeff Hatch (1999-01) New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Gavin Hoffman (1999-01) Cincinnati Bengals

Lord Hyeamang (2018), New York Jets

Jake Lewko (2010) Tennessee Titans

Miles Macik (1993-95) Detroit Lions

*Mitch Marrow (1995-97) Carolina Panthers

Rob Milanese (1999-02) New England Patriots, New York Jets, San Diego Chargers

Luke Nawrocki (2012) San Francisco 49ers

Ben Noll (2000-03) St. Louis Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys

Ryan O’Malley (2016) Oakland Raiders

Kendall Pace (2017) Pittsburgh Steelers

Michael Powers (2001-03) Cincinnati Bengals

Erik Rask (2012) Jacksonville Jaquars

Rich Romer (1986-89) Cincinnati Bengals

Kris Ryan (1998-01) Detroit Lions

Duvol Thompson (2001-04) St. Louis Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens

Greg Van Roten (2012) Green Bay Packers

Kunle Williams (1999-01) Cleveland Browns

Ben Zagorski (1997-00) Detroit Lions

*NFL Draft pick



Lou Acquarulo, Defensive Coordinator, Trinity College (Conn.)

John Audino, Head Coach, LaSalle School (Albany, N.Y.)

Bob Bodor, Former Head Coach RPI, Colorado College

Brian Bowers, Head Coach, Delbarton School (N.J.)

Duane Brooks, Defensive Line Coach, Dartmouth University

Trey Brown, Head Coach, Wilkes University

Louis Brunelli, Former Wide Receivers Coach, Fairleigh Dickinson University

Abbott Burrell, Assistant Head Coach, Brown University

Kevin Callahan, Running Backs Coach, Lafayette College

Mark Chmielinski, Former Running Backs/Secondary Coach, University of Pennsylvania, current NBC Sports Analyst

Andrew Christ, Defensive Coordinator, Central Connecticut State

Kirk Ciarrocca, Offensive Coordinator, University of Minnesota

Andy Coen, Head Coach, Lehigh University

James Collis, Former Head Football Coach & Athletic Director, Columbus Academy (Ohio)

Larry Cottrell, Former Offensive Assistant Coach, Union College

Steven Downs, Running Backs Coach, University of Pennsylvania

Jon Dupont, Linebackers Coach, University of Pennsylvania

Joe D’Orazio, Running Backs, Columbia University

Ryan Doyal, Former Wide Receivers Coach, Wagner University

Stan Drayton, Associate Head Coach/Running Backs, University of Texas

Darin Edwards, Defensive Line Coach, Columbia University

Michael Elko, Defensive Coordinator, Notre Dame University

Mark Fabish, Offensive Coordinator, Columbia University

Paul Ferraro, Defensive Coordinator, Columbia University

Rick Flanders, Former Defensive Coordinator, Yale University

Ed Foley, Tight Ends Coach, Temple University

Todd Gilcrist, Wide Receivers Coach, Columbia University

Shawn Halloran, Former Offensive Coordinator, University of Pennsylvania/Yale University

Eric Hahn, Director of Player Personnel, Columbia University

Darryl Hazzell, Wide Receivers Coach, Minnesota Vikings

Jim Horner, Former Assistant Coach, Camden Catholic, Rancocas Valley

Matt Hutchinson, Director of Audiovisual Services, University of Pennsylvania

Jon Kerzetski, Former Assistant Director of Operations, University of Pennsylvania, Director of Majors Gifts at Penn

Andrew Kukesh, Defensive Assistant, Columbia University

Daniel Kuhn, Director of Football Operations, Tennessee State University

Greg Lamb, Director of Football Administration and Alumni Affairs, Columbia University

John Lovett, Former Secondary Coach, Philadelphia Eagles

Jeff Masci, Assistant Coach, Lenape High School (N.J.)

Jon McLaughlin, Offensive Line Coach, Columbia University

Fran Meagher, Former Head Coach, Swathmore College/Mulenberg University

Mark Melnitsky, Offensive Line Coach, Trinity College (Conn.)

Karl Miran, Director of Athletics, Wardlaw-Hartridge School

Kevin Morris, Offensive Coordinator, Monmouth University

Andrae Murphy, Defensive Backs Coach, Columbia University

Rich Nagy, Former Defensive Coordinator, Western Michigan University

Jim O’Neil, Former Defensive Coordinator, San Francisco 49ers

Todd Orlando, Defensive Coordinator, University of Texas

Jansen Petagna, Director of Player Personnel, Army West Point

Jim Pio, Former Director of Operations, University of Pennsylvania

Jon Poppe, Secondary Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, Columbia University

Chuck Priore, Head Coach, Stony Brook University

Ray Priore, Head Coach, University of Pennsylvania

John Reagan, Offensive Coordinator, University of Pennsylvania

Gary Reynolds, Former Running Backs Coach, Union College

Michael Santella, Offensive Line Coach, East Stroudsburg University

Ricky Santos, Quarterbacks Coach, Columbia University

Brett Sawyer, Head Coach, Baytown Sterling High School (Texas)

Jim Schaefer, Former Defensive Line Coach, University of Pennsylvania

William Schmitz, Former Head Coach, United States Coast Guard Academy

Cliff Schwenke, Former Linebackers Coach, University of Pennsylvania

Justin Sheraton, Regional Scout, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jake Silverman, Director of Football Operations, University of Pennsylvania

Joe Sibley, Program Coordinator for Student Welfare & Development, University of Notre Dame

Gregory Skjold, Defensive Assistant, Columbia University

Kevin Stefanski, Running Backs Coach, Minnesota Vikings

Jake Stern, Assistant Director of Football Operations, University of Pennsylvania

Justin Stovall, Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers, Columbia University

Dan Swanstrom, Head Coach, Ithaca College

Tony Thompson, Special Teams Coordinator, Stony Brook University

Mike Toop, Head Coach, United States Merchant Marine Academy

Joe Tricario, Special Teams/Safeties Coach, Towson University

James Urban, Wide Receivers Coach, Cincinnati Bengals

Rick Ulrich, Wide Receivers Coach, University of Pennsylvania

Alex Voulgaris, Director of Social Media/Assistant Director of Player Personnel, Columbia University

Lewis Walker, Wide Receivers Coach, Sacred Heart University

Andrew Warsaw, Director of Football Operations, Purdue University

Mark Whipple, Head Coach, University of Massachusetts

Paul Wiliams, Defensive Backs Coach, Illinois University

Dave Wood, Head Coach, Ridley High School (Pa.)

Larry Woods, Former Quarterbacks Coach, University of Pennsylvania

Damien Wroblewski, Offensive Coordinator, Elon University