Wednesday, March 4, 2015

BREAKING: Ferraro to be Defensive Coordinator

Paul Ferraro

According to Football Scoop former Dartmouth, UCF, Rutgers, and Maine defensive coordinator Paul Ferraro will join Al Bagnoli's staff as the Lions defensive coordinator.

You can see his most recent UCF bio here.

It doesn't get more experienced than Ferraro, who also has extensive assistant coaching experience in the NFL.

So why is he available?

Well, things went south... way south... between him and UCF Head Coach George O'Leary. Yes, that's the same O'Leary who ran into big troubles at Notre Dame.

(In a funny coincidence, guess which school Columbia's stellar baseball team is playing this coming weekend? Yep, it's UCF!)

The good news is, none of this seems to have had anything to do with Ferraro's abilities and effectiveness as a coach.

My take: this is yet another super-experienced coach joining the Bagnoli staff. With reports that long-time Penn OC and O-line coach Jon McClaughlin is also in tow, Columbia already has a very veteran group at the helm.

Fundraising Push

In a very good move by the administration, The Columbia Campaign for Athletics has already created specific fundraising and job mentoring program based on the Bagnoli hire.

The page I linked to in the above sentence smartly embeds a video of the Bagnoli news conference and gives the reader a real reason to support this move.

Columbia football fans have been willing to give big on a "Hallmark Holiday" of an event like "Giving Day" for years without any real news or purpose to give other than the fact that someone called it "Giving Day."

So just think how much the same fans and new fans will be inspired to give now that there's a real commitment from the administration to push us on.

Honoring Leone

Speaking of fundraising, Nick Leone '88 will be honored at tonight's John Jay Awards Dinner at Cipriani in Midtown Manhattan.

If you read Nick's brief bio here, you wouldn't know he played four years of football for the Lions.

And they weren't just any four years. Leone played for the three varsity teams that went winless from 1985-87. (But they did win their first freshman football game).

Leone was one of just 11 men who stuck with the program throughout those tough four years. He wasn't just a bench warmer either; he was a good wide receiver who put up some decent numbers despite the losses.

That group of 11 men should always be named as Matt Sodl '88 always does when he talks about those days.

They were:

Mike Bissinger, Phil Fusco, George Gianfrancisco, Mike Lavelle, Dave Putelo, Nick Leone, John Miller, Tony Natola, Rich Ritter, Paul San Fillipo, and Matt Sodl. 

Sadly, Fusco died not too long after graduating in a car accident. And a postseason player award has been named in his honor for many years.

It shouldn't be surprising that so many of those 11 guys have been successful in their post-playing careers. They went through a lot at Columbia and were uniquely prepared for the challenges of real life afterwards.

Leone is now a senior managing director at the Blackstone Group, where he has worked since 1995.


oldlion said...

I noticed in Ferraro's bio that he is from Ridgewood NJ. Another Bergen County point of contact.

Chick said...

What about his lawsuit against UCF and
O'Leary? Sounds troubling.

Anonymous said...

O'Leary has always been a jerk but not surprisingly, there is a culture of that in many professions. I don't know if I would file civil suit for 15 grand. Depends how badly you need the money. After all is said and done you end up with a fraction of that.

Ferraro looks like a solid upgrade. He has his work cut out for him to figure out solutions on D.

Jake said...

I actually like our situation on defense a lot more than our offense right now. The D-line is the best unit on the team with Padilla, the returning Chad Washington, Melka, Akinleye, etc.
I like some of the linebackers, with the returning Cieslak and the rising star Holme. The DB's aren't terrible and I like Reim, Kenyon, etc.

Jake said...

I would feel better about the DB's if we could get Devin Williams back. He's off the roster, but hopefully can be encouraged to return. He opened my eyes in the Yale game this past season.

Chick said...

Bags needs to follow up on the good will generated by his hiring. He needs to finish rounding up his staff, soon, and then announce it in either a personal statement or video that describes each of them, including Chad Nice if he's keeping the young running backs coach. Nice is the only one from Mangurian's staff not deleted on the CU website coaches page.

At the same time, Bags should announce what's happening if anything with additional recruiting,
transfers and returnees among those who dropped out or were removed.

Anonymous said...

We can argue about players out of position and missing players but the defense yielded 389 points in 10 games in 2014. That is an average of 38.9 and that is low only because other teams decided to stop scoring out of sportsmanship (except Harvard and Monmouth who showed no mercy).

Until they stop somebody there is everything prove on D.

Chick said...

Agrred on D, Al, but fact is the O was bad too, which is why we're where we are. Everything needs fixing.
Hope this Hoppe, the d-back guy, will teach pass defenders to play the ball.

Good thing is, I'm sure Bagnoli sees all the weaknesses better than we do.

Coach said...

Who is the new offensive coordinator ?

Coach said...

Does anyone have the spring practice dates?

Columbia_Fan said...

Feed back from Harvard player.
Poppe well liked and respected by all players.

Zero Dark said...

A bit late but I have heard some BAD stories about O'Leary. I personally wouldn't take any rift between Ferraro and O'Leary as a blemish on Ferraro unless details prove otherwise.

Coach said...

I have never heard of an assistant coach suing the head coach- sounds really wacky to me. O'Leary has a great reputation among assistant coaches, and has had a terrific career.