Jesse Agel joined Columbia in May 2016 after spending three seasons on Jim Engles' staff at NJIT. Agel, a New York City native and graduate of Stuyvesant High School, was also the head coach of Brown University from 2008-12.
"I’m thrilled to be bringing Jesse aboard here," said Engles. "He brings a tremendous track-record as a recruiter as well as being a great in-game tactician. Jesse’s knowledge and experience of the Ivy League from his time at Brown and his New York City roots will be a tremendous asset to the program.”
At NJIT, Agel was a part of two CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament semifinal runs during back-to-back 20-win seasons. In his three years with the Highlanders, NJIT posted a 54 victories and helped the team finish second in the regular season standings in its first season in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Agel was on Craig Robinson’s staff at Brown for two years before being elevated to head coach. In his time as an assistant, he helped the Bears register a school-record 19 victories in 2007-2008, while gaining a berth in the College Basketball Invitational. The Bears finished second in the Ivy standings with an 11-3 mark, winning 10 of their last 11 regular season games.
Brown saw 11 players earn All-Ivy League status in Agel’s tenure as assistant and head coach, including the 2011 Ivy League Rookie of the Year, Sean McGonagill.
Prior to his time at Brown, Agel spent 17 years at his alma mater, the University of Vermont. A 1984 graduate, Agel was the associate head coach at Vermont for eight years under head coach Tom Brennan.
Agel was instrumental in helping the Catamounts to the finest four-year run in the 105-year history of UVM basketball at the end of his UVM career. In that stretch, Vermont won three consecutive America East titles (2003, 2004, 2005), the school’s first conference championships and its first-ever regular season title in 2002 and again in 2005. In the 2005 NCAA Tournament, the Catamounts had the upset of the tournament, upsetting BIG EAST Champion Syracuse, 60-57, in the first round.
Under Agel, Vermont had four players named America East Rookie of the Year, including back-to-back winners in T.J. Sorrentine ’04 and Taylor Coppenrath ’05. Both went on to earn America East Player of the Year honors.Agel began his coaching career as a volunteer student assistant at Vermont in 1984-85. Prior to returning to his alma mater, he was the head coach at Harwood Union (Vermont) High School in Duxbury for two seasons. He guided the Highlanders to the 1988 Vermont Division II State Championship with a 21-2 record.