NEW YORK—Columbia University’s Patricia and Shepard Alexander Head Coach of Football Al Bagnoli officially announced several coaching staff appointments and promotions on Wednesday. Defensive Assistant Andrae Murphy has been promoted to Secondary Coach and will now oversee the direction of the Lions’ defensive backs, while former Columbia coaching staff member Joe D’Orazio has been named the Lions’ new Running Backs Coach and Director of Learning & Team Development. Bagnoli also announced the addition of two new coaching staff members: Offensive Assistant Gregory Skjold and Defensive Assistant Andrew Kukesh.
“We are extremely excited about the promotion of Andrae Murphy to secondary coach and the addition of Joe D’Orazio as our running backs coach,” Bagnoli said. “Both are highly intelligent, talented and hard-working coaches. Andrae made a significant contribution to our team last year as a defensive assistant, while Joseph served as tight ends coach on staff during our first year at Columbia and knows exactly what our program is all about. In addition, we are excited that Gregory Skjold and Andrew Kukesh have both joined our staff.”
Murphy will begin his second year on Columbia’s Football staff after serving as the defensive quality control assistant in 2017. Prior to arriving in Morningside Heights, Murphy worked the 2016-17 season as defensive backs coach at the College of Holy Cross, where he planned, set up and instructed during practice, handled film exchange, distributed reports on tendencies, organized the scout team, recruited student-athletes, tracked academics and assisted with special teams. He has also spent time on the football coaching staffs at Florida Atlantic as defensive quality control coach (2016) and Massachusetts Maritime Academy as defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach (2014-16).
From 2011-15, Murphy served in the United States Army as a combat infantry fire team leader, where he was the recipient of multiple Army Accommodation and Achievement medals, was a member of the top squad competition title and was elected to the Army Green to Gold Leadership program.
A native of Pembroke Pines, Fla., Murphy was a First Team All-MASAC and First Team All-New England selection as a defensive back/linebacker at Bridgewater State, where he helped lead the Bears to a MASCAC Championship in 2008. In addition, he earned honorable mention NJCAA All-American and First Team All-Northeast Junior College honors as a defensive back at Dean Junior College, Mass. from 2005-07. Murphy graduated with a bachelor’s degree in History from Salem State University and earned a Master of Business Administration degree while majoring in Sports Management from Lynn University in June 2017.
Murphy replaces Jon Poppe, who spent three seasons as Columbia’s defensive backs coach.
As Columbia’s new Running Backs Coach/Director of Learning & Team Development, D’Orazio begins his second stint with the Lions as he worked as Tight Ends Coach during Bagnoli’s first season with the Lions in 2015. He rejoins the program after working a full season with the National Football League’s Philadelphia Eagles (2016-17) as the organization’s Offensive Quality Control/Assistant Wide Receivers Coach. D’Orazio also has experience with the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs as Senior Assistant to the Head Coach (2013-15), University of Utah as its Defensive Graduate Assistant Coach (2012-13) and at the University of Chicago as Tight Ends Coach (2011-12).
D’Orazio is 2011 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and lettered four years on the football team for Bagnoli. A two-time First Team All-Ivy League selection, three-year starter and consensus preseason All-America selection as the Quakers’ center, D’Orazio served as team captain as a senior in 2010 and helped lead the Quakers to back-to-back Ivy League championships in 2009 and 2010.
D’Orazio, who will also be responsible for building and implementing leadership, development and team building initiatives for Columbia Football, replaces John Audino.
Skjold joins the Columbia Football Coaching Staff as the new Offensive Assistant after spending the last three seasons as Tight Ends/Fullbacks Coach and Video Coordinator at Trinity College from 2015-18. He also brings with him experience as the Offensive Line/Tight Ends Coach and Video Coordinator at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (2013-15) and worked as the Football Operations Intern at Union College (2013). A 2013 graduate of Union College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Managerial Economics, Skjold earned Third Team East Region All-America and First Team All-Liberty League honors as a senior offensive lineman. As a four-year collegiate letterman, he helped guide Union to the 2009 and 2011 Liberty League championships. He is on pace to earn a Master of Arts degree in American Studies from Trinity College in May 2018.
Kukesh joins the Columbia Staff as the new Defensive Assistant after spending 2017 at both the University of Maine as Assistant Defensive Backs/Safeties Coach and at Yale as Assistant Defensive Line Coach. He spent a combined two years at Trinity College as Cornerbacks Coach in 2016 and Outside Linebackers Coach in 2015. A 2014 graduate of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, Kukesh was a three-time All-NESCAC selection and two-time All-East Region honoree as a defensive back. He was elected to The College Key of Bates College, an honor given to those student-athletes who distinguish themselves through their academic performance, athletic pursuits, service to community and strength of character. Kukesh earned a Master of Arts degree in Public Policy and Law from Trinity College in May 2017.