Our (not so) Short List
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A number of good names have been floated for the soon-to-be-vacant Head Coaching job at Columbia.
Anyone who thinks it's too early to be talking about this doesn't understand the speed with which you have to replace head coaches in college football; it is essential for recruitng and team continuity.
Here are a few candidates with their pros and cons:
Pros: plenty of head coaching experience and success at what had been a very struggling program at Holy Cross. Knows the Ivies well as a former assistant at Columbia and Dartmouth. Was an Ivy League MVP Bushnell Cup winner at Penn. (The last Penn alum to coach at Columbia was Lou Little).
Cons: very intense and may clash with a tepid CU administration not used to aggressive coaches. Fans will always wonder if he's just waiting to take the Penn job when Al Bagnoli finally leaves or is struck by lightning.
Pros: Has turned losing programs around three times in his illustrious high school coaching career. His current team, Don Bosco, is riding a legendary winning streak right now and is a national household name. Prepares his teams better than anyone else in tough practices. Is familiar with the best Catholic school programs around the country that have consistently sent the best players to the Ivies. Lives nearby and could be ready to jump right in.
Cons: No college head coaching experience. His intensity may rub some players and administrators the wrong way.
Pros: Was a successful head coach at three schools, most recently at UMass. Knows the Ivies after spending some years as an assistant at Dartmouth and was defensive coordinator at Brown in 1996 and 1997. Good defensive strategist who usually molds teams adept at takeaways. Now the D-coordinator at UConn and thus is also close by.
Cons: Not too many that I can see or have heard.
Pros: Current HC at Georgetown has turned the program around this year and produced some eye-popping wins. Knows the Ivies at least as an opposing coach as his Hoyas have played Ivy opponents just about every year since 2006. Was also a an assistant on Dartmouth's 1991 Ivy championship team. Excellent resume with D-I coaching experience at Marshall, Syracuse, and a distinguished tenure at Navy.
Cons: Georgetown's turnaround may only be a one-year thing. Seems to have strong ties to the Maryland-DC area and may need more coaxing than others to come to New York.
Pros: Has turned Johns Hopkins into a consistent winner. Coached at Penn and under Ray Tellier at Columbia. Was deeply respected by the Lions players when he was here.
Cons: Never been a head coach at the FBS or FCS level. Is currently at his Alma Mater for 22 years and counting and may not be easy to lure back to NYC.
Pros: Excellent experience as an assistant in college and the pros. Currently the offensive coordinator at a rising University of Virginia team. Knows the Ivies as he was a star QB for the Cornell Big Red in the early 1990's. He then was an assistant at Cornell from 1994 to 2000.
Cons: No head coaching experience.
Pros: Familiar with just about all the current players as he was Columbia DC just two years ago. Has had success as head coach at Williams. Very good personality.
Cons: Not a lot of experience as a head coach. Not everyone is convinced he made a good enough improvement in the CU defense.
Pros: a uniquely driven and goal-oriented leader who knows the Ivies and now has some head coaching experience. Connections to Wall Street are ideal for Columbia players who often go on to dominate the Street. Might be able to pay his own salary or just take a dollar a year kind of deal.
Cons: An outside the box choice who may be too outside the box. Only one year of HC experience. Hasn't coached at any level in the Ivies in decades.
Pros: Legendary success at the small college level and at Ohio State. Reportedly looking for redemption after his ouster in Columbus. Could pay his own salary. Recruits would definitely take his calls. Columbia gets millions of dollars of free publicity and intense media interest in a heartbeat.
Cons: It's a crazy outside the box choice. Scandal in his past could sink him. Bollinger would definitely be too afraid to talk to him without a lot of goading.