Monday, February 23, 2015

Our Whole Premise is THIS

Bollinger has finally done what Sovern et al didn't have the guts to do

A lot of the debate raging right now over Columbia’s hiring of Al Bagnoli centers around predictions of how many games he’ll win with the Lions and how fast he’ll do it.

No one has emphasized the importance of actual wins on the field more than I, so I get the inclination to do that.

But I have to insist we wait on all of that until the actual season begins.

For now, it’s important for the true fans of Columbia football and Columbia athletics overall to recognize this most important fact:

This hire proves we’re finally getting what we wanted!

By that I mean that the main goal was never to fire any coach, or replace any one administrator… or even all of them.

The goal was for the administration to finally realize that it must make a profound financial and emotional commitment to the football program.

I strongly believe that the effort to hire Bagnoli out of retirement is evidence of just that.

Remember, to get Bagnoli we had to offer him a major salary that will easily dwarf what all the other Ivy football coaches earn. But also, count me among those who believe that Bagnoli still would not have come here unless he was also given ironclad assurances that other hurdles to on-the-field success are removed at every opportunity.

In other words, President Lee Bollinger had to agree to a lot of things his predecessors never would have to make this hire.

And this is what we’ve demanded for so long.

It’s exceedingly important to recognize this and be ready to do what it takes to reinforce this good behavior.

We can start by offering more financial support, which I plan to do the moment tomorrow’s Bagnoli news conference wraps up.

One More Thing

There happens to be an already-scheduled Ivy football coaches meeting set for Wednesday.

And sources tell me Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris has already told Bagnoli that she expects him to be there! 


WOF said...

Agree, we finally made a statement hire!

I now find myself hoping that Pres Bollinger stays around for another decade...

tweez said...

Great work!

Anonymous said...

I'm irked I don't have anything left to complain about. Except... Bollinger's hair. I don't get it.

It would be curious to know who planted the seed with Bags. Was Taylor given latitude to do the recruiting? If so, kudos are warranted. From the timeline it looks like everything was in place before the AD hiring. Then, Bags and Pilling met, sorted out the particulars to bring the deal closer to fruition.

It does not seem Bill Campbell was involved because if he was then the wrong people would have been hired for coach and AD. That was the key, keeping him and his legion of yes people away from the process.

Coach said...

October 17th is the Bagnoli Bowl- Penn V Columbia.

Unknown said...

Thank God for President Bollinger, Coach Campbell, Diane Murphy, Rick Taylor.AD Pilling and all the loyal former Columbia Lion Football players. This is a great day, a long time coming, for Columbia Football!!!

Big Dawg said...

In the past 2 years that I have been participating in this blog, I have read many of Jake's comments.

I have disagreed with a number of them, and have said so. I have also agreed with quite a few. No problem; that's what makes horse races (and blogs). He's a bit more "personal" than I am.

But what Jake has stated here is the most basic and clear summary of what I think all of us have been looking for all along. It is dead-on. It is inarguable.

And regardless of whatever left-over animosity is retained by the old guard (whoever the hell they are), there is no denying that as unpleasant or "toxic" as Jake may have been at times, his efforts helped ignite a major change (which he describes here) that has never before been seen at this institution.

He has clearly stated his intention to move on and completely support the long-needed improvements we are finally making. It will be interesting to see if his prior opponents demonstrate the same rationality, or if they continue to be mired in the past.

Will they finally see that ALL of us want to win? And it just wasn't working before last September? The admin HAD to be moved out of their comfort zone, and they certainly were. That's how you make an omelette.

AJB260 said...

I think Bags is a great hire but let's not put unrealistic expectations on him. He's obviously a top notch coach but he's not a miracle worker. Given the timing of his hiring, he's already missed a recruitment season. He still has to put together a staff and rebuild the broken morale and divisions on the squad left over from the PM regime. He has to overcome decades of indifference to football at Columbia. I know he did all of this at Penn and made them an Ivy League power. But even Penn never sunk as low as Columbia is now. If he can eek out two or three wins next season I'd be satisfied. But given the state of the program he's taking over we need to be realistic and not expect a winning team for a while. What I do expect is an more aggressive and intelligent play, more competitive games and steady improvement. And five years from now, if Bollinger and the rest of the administration live up to their commitments, maybe, just maybe, we'll have an Ivy League title.

Curtis Chen said...

I plan to watch all the games next year if humanly possible given the time difference, and I will be looking for the differences a good coach can make....better play calling, better blocking, better use of the personnel we have by understanding their talents better, and higher energy that a man of confidence can Instill in a team.....opponents scoring should decrease, our scoring should increase and each game will be more competitive. I have little doubt that a bagnoli coached team would have beat Cornell this past year. I say he'll deliver 2 wins and 5 other relatively close games.

This is based on gut only.

Columbia_Fan said...

I believe your gut is right on target.

Anonymous said...

Well said AJB260, this is an entirely new situation for Bags. He did not inherit a program in distress at Union or Penn. There was need for improvements but neither of those programs had the type of problems Columbia has so this job will test him.

What exactly are divisions on the current team? There's always going to be people that just don't like each other but factionalism will destroy a program.

Chick said...

I agree with AJB and also Chen. No fan is more distressed than I, but I don't expect Bagnoli to wave a magic wand and produce a winning season in his first couple of years, much less a title. Five years is a more reasonable estimate for a winning program with title aspirations. Just getting up from the mat the first year or two will be nice,

But I have little doubt that he can "grow" this team and I look forward to that.