Getting Defensive... Again
Mike Donnelly today
How good a job did Aaron Kelton do in his two years as defensive coordinator?
Since the Ivy schedule went from nine to ten games in 1980, Columbia defenses have held their opponents to a cumulative total of fewer than 250 points, (or 25 points per game for you non-math majors), just eight times.
2008 and 2009 were the only two seasons the defense managed to keep their opponents below 250 two seasons in a row. That's 220 points last season and 245 points in 2008.
The best numbers put up overall by Columbia defenses were 159 points allowed in 1996, under defensive coordinator Mike Donnelly, 163 points in 2006 under defensive coordinator Lou Ferrari, (with Kelton on that defensive staff), and 1998 with 175 points under defensive coordinator Erv Chambliss.
Stats aside, the best Lion defense I ever saw was that '96 squad that led Columbia to an 8-2 record despite a really weak offense overall, (the offensive line was strong, but the skill positions were not exactly stacked). Donnelly is now the head coach and the defensive coordinator at Muhlenberg College and he is the winningest head coach in school history with a record of 84-54 (.609) in 13 years.
It's imperative that the new defensive coordinator, whoever he is, continues coach Kelton's recent trend of cutting the total points scored against the Lion defense. It will be a tall order this coming season with all the injured players recovering and the graduations of Lou Miller, Andy Shalbrack and Corey Cameron.
All I can say now is: "good luck future defensive coach X!"
Don't forget tomorrow is the day to head to Long Island and shop at the Plainview Fairway to raise money for Columbia athletics.
Fairway Market, Plainview is located at 50 Manetto Hill Mall, Plainview, NY 11803. The telephone number is 516-937-5402.