NEW YORK—Looking to build upon its most successful season in 21 years, Columbia Football announced the dates and opponents for its 2018 football schedule on Thursday. Columbia’s finalized schedule, television appearances and kickoff times will be released at a later date.
Year four of the Al Bagnoli Era of Columbia Football will feature five home games at Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium (corner of 218th Street and Broadway in New York City). Columbia will host Princeton for its Ivy League and home opener on Saturday, Sept. 29. The following week the Lions will host Marist for Northern Manhattan Neighbors Appreciation Day and the final non-conference contest on Saturday, Oct. 6. Homecoming Weekend 2018 is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 20 against Dartmouth. Columbia then hosts Yale the following week on Saturday, Oct. 27 and concludes its season by hosting Cornell for the Empire State Bowl/Columbia Football Players Club Senior Day on Saturday, Nov. 17.
In addition, Columbia will play five road games in 2018 including its season opener at Central Connecticut State (Saturday, Sept. 15), the fourth annual Lou Little Cup at Georgetown (Saturday, Sept. 22) and Ivy League matchups at Penn (Saturday, Oct. 13), at Harvard (Saturday, Nov. 3) and at Brown (Saturday, Nov. 10).
Last year, the Lions posted an 8-2 record and finished second in the Ivy League with a 5-2 record for their winningest season since 1996. In addition, Columbia began a season with six straight wins for the first time since 1945, completed 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.
Columbia returns 15 of 22 starters (eight on offense and seven on defense) and 58 total lettermen to the 2018 squad. Six All-Ivy League picks return in First Team wide receiver Josh Wainwright (78 catches for school-record 1,001 yards, 8 TD), Second Team safety Landon Baty (66 tackles, 4 INT, 1 FR, 2 FF) and honorable mention honorees in wide receiver Ronald Smith (31 catches for 437 yards and 4 TD in only 7 GP), linebacker Michael Murphy (42 tackles, 6.0 TFL, 2 FR in 8 GP), offensive lineman Markham Paukune (10 consecutive starts) and kick returner/defensive back Will Allen (507 yards on 21 KOR). Returning offensive starters also include wide receiver Kyle Castner (24 catches, 286 yards, TD), tight end Rory Schlageter, left guard Charlie Flores (23 career starts), center Tyler Schonewolf (20 consecutive starts), right guard Parker Coogan (10 consecutive starts) and on defense, right end Mike Hinton (18 career starts, 25 tackles), linebacker Jalen Williams (32 tackles, 2.0 sacks), linebacker Sean White (48 tackles, 5.0 TFL, 2 INT), defensive back Ryan Gilbert (team-leader with 95 tackles) and defensive back Benjamin McKeighan (37 tackles, 2 INT). In addition, a variety of other key players who saw extensive action return in 2018.
2018 Football season and 2018-19 True Blue ticket packages are now on sale. Designed for our most loyal fans, the package includes a season ticket to Columbia football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball at a discounted rate. The True Blue package is your gateway to all of the great football and basketball action plus our interactive in-game fan experiences and enhanced game day atmosphere. Click here or call 888-LIONS-11 to purchase your 2018 season tickets or True Blue package today!
Columbia’s annual spring football game is scheduled for Saturday, April 21 at Robert K. Kraft Field (located at the corner of 218th & Broadway Avenue). Kickoff is at 11 a.m. ET. Admission to the spring game is free. Columbia Football has also scheduled a Bone Marrow Drive, slated to be held on the Morningside Heights campus on Friday, April 20. More details will be released at a later date. Columbia began the first of 12 spring practices on March 21.