PRINCETON, N.J.—Columbia Football Coach Al Bagnoli was named the 2017 Ivy League Coach of the Year, the league office announced on Tuesday afternoon. The news comes one day after Bagnoli was announced as a finalist for the STATS FCS Eddie Robinson Award, the organization’s National FCS Coach of the Year.
The Ivy League also announced its all-league teams as a school-record 12 Columbia players were selected. See more here.
In his third season leading the Columbia football program, Bagnoli led the Lions to their best overall record (8-2), best Ivy League record (5-2) and highest Ivy League finish (second place) in 21 years since 1996. He guided the Lions from a 3-7 record in 2016 to an 8-2 record this year. Columbia started season with six consecutive wins, the best start to a season in 21 years (since 1996) and put together a seven-game win streak which proved to be Columbia’s longest win streak since 1935. Columbia also defeated Princeton, Penn and Dartmouth in a season for the first time since 1971.
In 2015, Bagnoli inherited a Columbia program that snapped a 24-game losing streak (Nov. 17, 2012-Oct. 10, 2015) with a 2-8 record in his first year. He finished 3-7 in 2016, then broke out with an 8-2 overall record this season. In the four years prior to Bagnoli’s arrival, Columbia went 4-36 (2011-14).
Columbia came within one game of winning Bagnoli’s 10th Ivy League title and tying for the most Ivy League championships for a head coach in league history. With an Ivy League title, Bagnoli would become the first coach in conference history to win an Ivy League title with two different programs (Columbia & Penn, 9).
Bagnoli becomes the first Columbia head coach to win the Ivy League Coach of the Year award. The Ivy League Coach of the Year award was established in 2014.