|Position:||Defensive Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach|
|High School:||Ridgewood H.S.|
|Alma Mater:||Springfield College|
Recruiting Areas – New York (Duchess, Orange and South), Ohio, Kentucky.
With over 30 years of coaching experience at the highest levels of football, Paul Ferraro joined the Columbia Football Program in March 2015 as its Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator. Prior to Columbia, Ferraro spent the previous two seasons at Maine and was on NFL coaching staffs from 2005-11.
At Columbia, Ferraro's impact has been felt immediately on the defensive side of the ball, as the Lions made the biggest leap in the FCS, going from No. 115 in total defense the year before, to No. 8 at 291.1 yards allowed per game in 2015. The Lions kept points off the scoreboard, allowing just 19.8 points a game, which ranked as the No. 17 best tally in the country. Columbia held opponents to 13 points or less four times, as five defensive players earned All-Ivy League honors, led by defensive linemen Toba Akinleye (first team), Niko Padilla (second team) and Chad Washington (second team).
His second season at Columbia saw the Lions’ defense rank among the nation’s best in several statistical categories including third down conversion defense (No. 5, 29.3), first downs defense (No. 7, 177.0) and team tackles for loss (No. 14, 7.6 per game). In addition, the Lions also finished No. 39 in total defense and No. 43 in scoring defense (24.7 points per game allowed). Four defensive players earned All-Ivy League honors including middle linebacker Gianmarco Rea, who led the league in tackles, safety Brock Kenyon, defensive back Cameron Roane and defensive lineman Lord Hyeamang.
Prior to his tenure at Columbia, Ferraro served as the defensive coordinator at Maine. In 2012, his Black Bear team led the Colonial Athletic Association in scoring defense, before he helped lead the squad to a CAA Championship and an FCS playoff appearance in 2013.
Ferraro made his NFL debut in 2005 as the Carolina Panthers' assistant special teams coach. He then took over the special teams coordinator position with the Minnesota Vikings from 2006-08, and led the linebackers with the St. Louis Rams from 2009-11.
Ferraro jumped to the NFL after working as Rutgers' defensive coordinator from 2001-04, as the Scarlet Knights led the Big East in sacks, takeaways and third-down defense in 2004.
In his two seasons as the defensive backs coach at Georgia Tech, the Yellow Jackets went 8-4 in 1999 and faced Miami in the Gator Bowl. The next year, they posted a 9-3 mark and advanced to take on LSU in the Peach Bowl.
From 1991-98, Ferraro nestled down in Northwest Ohio as Bowling Green's defensive coordinator. The Falcons claimed the 1991 and 1992 Mid-American Conference titles, while also topping Fresno State in the 1991 California Bowl and then Nevada in the 1992 Las Vegas Bowl.
Ferraro earned his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at UMass in 1982. Before joining the staff at Bowling Green, he served stints at Syracuse (1983), Villanova (1984-86), Dartmouth (1987), Catholic University (1988), the first of two stops at Maine (1989) and Ohio (1990).
A 1982 graduate from Springfield College, Ferraro was an All-New England defensive back his senior year in 1981. He went on to receive his master's degree at Syracuse.
Ferraro is a native of Ridgewood, N.J.
THE PAUL FERRARO FILE
Birthdate: April 30, 1959
Hometown: Ridgewood, N.J.
Bachelor of Arts, Springfield College, 1982; Masters degree, Syracuse University, 1986, Ridgewood High School, 1977.
Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator, Columbia University, 2015-current
Defensive Coordinator, University of Maine, 2012-13
Linebackers Coach, St. Louis Rams, 2009-11
Special Teams Coordinator, Minnesota Vikings, 2006-08
Assistant Special Teams Coach, Carolina Panthers, 2005
Defensive Coordinator, Rutgers University, 2001-04
Defensive Backs Coach, Georgia Tech, 1999-2000
Defensive Coordinator, Bowling Green State University, 1991-98
Linebackers Coach, Ohio University, 1990
Linebackers Coach, University of Maine, 1989
Assistant Head Coach, Assistant Athletic Director, Catholic University, 1988
Defensive Coordinator, Dartmouth University, 1987
Defensive Coordinator, Villanova University, 1984-86
Graduate Assistant, Syracuse University, 1983
Graduate Assistant, University of Massachusetts, 1982
Four-year letterman at defensive back at NCAA Division III Springfield (1979-82) … All-East selection … Inducted into the Ridgewood High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006 … Awarded Ridgewood’s Outstanding Senior Athlete award … Acknowledged as one of the greatest two-way football players in the school’s history … First Team All-Decade linebacker by the Record … Two-time First Team All-County, All-Suburban and All-NNJIL All-Star … First-ever single-season 1,000-yard rusher in school history and held the single-season rushing record of 1,079 yards (9 GP) for 28 years … His father Mario is also inducted into the Ridgewood Athletic Hall of Fame.