Football Coaching Staff
Jon Poppe
Secondary Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Coach Info:
Position: Secondary Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Hometown: Upper Saddle River, N.J.
High School: Bergen Catholic H.S.
Alma Mater: Williams College (Mass.)
Graduating Year: 2007
Experience: 3 Years
Phone: 212-854-7066

Recruiting Areas – New Jersey (Warren, Hunterdon, Somerset, Union, Middlesex, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean), Northern California (Ventura County and North), Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Nevada, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, and Hawaii.


Jon Poppe begins his third season at Columbia as its secondary coach and recruiting coordinator. Poppe, who joined the Columbia football staff in March 2015, spent the previous four seasons coaching the defensive backs at Harvard.


In 2015, the Columbia secondary proved to be one of the toughest to throw against in the Ivy League, leading the conference with 187.7 passing yards allowed per game. With a hand from the defensive backfield, the Lions ranked 11th in the FCS in total defense at 291.1 yards per game, and 18th in scoring defense at 19.8 points a game. Poppe coached three defensive backs that earned All-Ivy League honors, as both safety/cornerback Matthew Cahal and cornerback Jared Katz found a spot on the honorable mention team, while safety Travis Reim was tied for fifth in the conference with three interceptions. In 2016, the Lions had two defensive backs named to the All-Ivy League team including Second Team members Cameron Roane (cornerback) and Brock Kenyon (safety). Roane emerged as one of the league’s best cover corners and Kenyon ranked among league leaders in tackles (71) and interceptions (three).


Prior to Columbia, Poppe developed the Harvard secondary into one of the nation’s top units. In 2014, he helped the Crimson to an undefeated 10-0 finish and earned the program's 16th conference championship. Harvard ranked first in the nation in scoring defense (12.3 points allowed per game), while three members of the secondary earned All-Ivy status. In 2013, the secondary helped Harvard claim its 15th Ivy League title while earning four All-Ivy League honors. The foursome helped the Crimson rank 25th in the nation in scoring defense at 22.7 points allowed per game. In 2012, three Harvard defensive backs earned All-Ivy League recognition. The secondary assisted the Crimson to rank eighth nationally in scoring defense at 17.4 points allowed per game. A year earlier in Poppe’s first season, Harvard ranked 21st nationally in pass efficiency defense and fifth in scoring defense, surrendering just 17.1 points per contest.


Prior to his time at Harvard, Poppe spent one year as the assistant secondary coach at Holy Cross in 2010. He arrived at Holy Cross after serving as a graduate assistant coach at Springfield College during the 2008 and 2009 seasons. At Springfield, he coached both the quarterbacks and the fullbacks, in addition to running the defensive scout team.


Poppe previously spent one season as an intern assistant coach at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., coaching the cornerbacks and special teams.


Poppe is a 2007 graduate of Williams College (Mass.). A three-year starter in the secondary for the Ephs, he earned First Team All-NESAC honors as a senior in addition to being selected All-East Region by Don Hansen’s National Weekly Football Gazette. He made 24 tackles, defended nine passes and contributed two interceptions as a senior.


Poppe, his wife Anna Maria and daughter Ava reside in the Manhattan neighborhood of Inwood.



Birthdate: December 22, 1984

Hometown: Upper Saddle River, N.J.

Family: Wife Anna Maria, daughter Ava



Bachelor of Arts, American History, Williams College, Mass., 2007; Bergen Catholic High School, 1999-2003.


Coaching Career

Secondary Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, Columbia University, 2015-current

Secondary Coach, Harvard University, 2011-15

Assistant Secondary Coach, Holy Cross, 2009-10

Graduate Assistant, Springfield College, 2008-09

Assistant Coach, King’s College, Pa., 2007


Playing Career

Four-year letterwinner at Williams College (2003-06) … Earned First Team All-NESAC honors as a senior defensive back … All-East Region selection … Three-time All-NNJIL-C defensive back and wide receiver at Bergen Catholic High School, where he helped the Crusaders accumulate a 24-10 record and state titles in 1999 and 2001.