In surprise, Bagnoli to become Columbia football coach

New York, NY ( - During his 23 seasons guiding Penn's football program, no head coach won more Ivy League championships than Al Bagnoli.

He will now try to lift a Columbia program whose only Ivy title occurred in 1961.

Bagnoli will be introduced as Columbia's new head coach on Tuesday, according to news reports. It comes as a surprise after the 62-year-old retired from coaching following Penn's 2014 campaign.

Columbia has historically had one of the worst programs in Division I and the Lions have lost 21 straight games since 2012. Pete Mangurian compiled a 3-27 record as head coach over the last three seasons, but he was fired in December amid player claims of abuse in the program.

The hiring of Bagnoli would bring a renewed sense of optimism to the Lions' program. He posted a 148-80 record with nine Ivy League titles at Penn, although his final two teams slumped to a combined 6-14 mark. He has a 234-99 overall record, including 86-19 in 10 seasons at Division III Union.

Bagnoli's 112 wins in Ivy games are the second-most in league history behind former Yale coach Carm Cozza.

Columbia will host Penn on Oct. 17. Bagnoli's long-time assistant coach, Ray Priore, succeeded him as head coach.