NEW YORK - In just two weeks, Patricia and Shepard Alexander Head
Coach of Football Pete Mangurian has assembled an impressive coaching staff on
Morningside Heights. The seven
coaches now on staff have diverse backgrounds in experience within NCAA
Division I football and in the National Football League, as well as diverse
"We have brought in an outstanding staff that is diverse and rich in
experience," Coach Mangurian said.
"I'm excited for the energy, work ethic and knowledge they will bring to
our program every day."
Mangurian named former Denver Broncos quarterbacks coach Ben McDaniels
offensive coordinator, while Kevin Lempa, a veteran NCAA Division I defensive
coordinator, who also coached the top-ranked defense in the National Football
League while with the San Diego Chargers, was named Columbia's defensive
McDaniels will coach the quarterbacks in addition to serving as the offensive
"Ben and I
share the same offensive philosophy," Coach Mangurian said. "Ben comes from a
football family. His father is a
highly successful high school coach in Ohio, and his brother and I worked
together at the Patriots. Ben is dynamic young coach. He is the kind of teacher and person we wanted to lead our
McDaniels was the quarterbacks coach for the Broncos in 2010, and an
offensive assistant for Denver in 2009.
He also spent two years as a graduate assistant football coach at the
University of Minnesota. McDaniels
played quarterback at Kent State from 1999-2002.
Lempa, a 30-year veteran of both the collegiate and professional
ranks, who has coached some of the best defenses in the nation in both the NCAA
and the NFL, spent the 2011 season as the defensive coordinator for Central
Connecticut State. Lempa will coach the defensive secondary while coordinating
extensive experience at all levels of college and professional football. He
brings a level of experience and knowledge of Ivy League football that I felt
was unique," Coach Mangurian said.
"He has had success at every level - both as an assistant and as a
Prior to his time with the Blue Devils, Lempa spent four seasons as an
assistant coach at the University of Maryland. In his time with the Terrapins, Lempa coached the secondary.
In his first season in College Park, Lempa helped direct an impressive pass
defense as the Terps yielded just 210.7 yards per game. They ranked 33rd in the
country in national pass defense.
Veteran coach Ed Argast will remain on Coach Mangurian's staff as the
offensive line coach. Argast came
to Columbia in 2009 and mentored three-time first team All-Ivy League standout
Jeff Adams to an All-American senior season. In 2009, as
an offense, Columbia finished in the top three in the Ivy League in rushing
offense (second), total offense (third) and points per game (third) for the
first time since 1994.
has tremendous experience and the demeanor I was looking for in an offensive
line coach," Mangurian said. "Ed
is a great football coach, which encompasses being a teacher, mentor, and a
student of the game. He is the kind of coach that every staff needs. Attitude of an offense begins up front
and I have tremendous confidence in Ed's ability to create the attitude we
Aaron Smith, who has coached the Columbia wide receivers since March
2007, will continue with the wideouts and serve as recruiting coordinator. Smith has coached two All-Ivy League
honorees, including Austin Knowlin '10CC, Columbia all-time leader in
receptions and receiving yards.
is one of the brightest, hard-working young coaches I've ever been around. His
work ethic and attention to detail were evident at every point in our
transition," Mangurian said. "We are very fortunate to be able to keep him as
part of our staff. Aaron has tremendous potential and a bright future."
Alvin Smith, a former All-Pac 10 defensive tackle at Oregon State,
will coach the defensive line. Smith
was signed by the San Diego Chargers after Oregon State, and also spent time
with the Cleveland Browns and in NFL Europe. Last season, he was a defensive graduate assistant at
Arizona State, and prior to that he worked with the defensive line at Portland
State. Smith also interned with
Oregon State's football program in 2009.
brings experience from the highest levels of college football. He is a
high-energy young coach with a tremendous work ethic and a relentless drive to
be the best," Mangurian added. "Coaching the defensive line is about attitude
and discipline, and I see both those qualities in Alvin. He was a great
player and he will be a great coach for our defensive linemen."
Chad Nice joins Mangurian's staff as the running backs coach. Nice comes to Columbia after coaching
at the United States Merchant Marine Academy since 2008. For the past two seasons, Nice served
as the offensive coordinator for USMMA.
Nice was a three-year starter and letterwinner at running back/wide
receiver and kick returner for Cornell from 2001-2005.
understands what we are about to go through in rebuilding our program. He went
through it with us at Cornell. Chad was a tough, smart player who loved
football," Mangurian said. "He has
worked as a young coach to take advantage of his opportunities. Chad's
experience as a coordinator adds unique depth to our offensive staff."
joins the staff from his alma mater, the University of Virginia. He will coach the tight ends and also
serve as the assistant offensive line coach. Sammis spent the 2010 season as an
on-field graduate assistant at Virginia.
In 2011, he coached the Cavaliers' tight ends. Sammis was a two-year letterwinner at Virginia, playing on
both the offensive line and on special teams.
"I have known
Gordie Sammis since he was a player at the University of Virginia. I know how
he was coached and the program he grew up in. He is a product of a system that
will have strong similarities to our own," Mangurian said. "For the last two years, he has coached
the tight ends and worked with the offensive line. Gordie has the kind of work
ethic and attitude that will serve as a great example for our players."
Administratively, Greg Lamb, Columbia's video coordinator since 2009,
will continue in that role, while John Cavalier will continue on staff as the
Director of Football Operations.
"We still have two coaching positions to fill," Mangurian said. "But with seven coaches
now on board, we are at full recruiting strength, which is our top priority."