Penn's Bagnoli plans to retire after next season

Al Bagnoli has won nine Ivy League football championships in his 23 years as Penn's head coach. (File photo)
Al Bagnoli has won nine Ivy League football championships in his 23 years as Penn's head coach. (File photo)
Posted: April 24, 2014

Penn football coach Al Bagnoli, who has won nine outright Ivy League titles in 22 seasons as head coach of the Quakers, will announce plans for his retirement at a Wednesday news conference, according to a source familiar with the decision.

The same source said Bagnoli would coach the 2014 season and then be succeeded by longtime Penn defensive coordinator Ray Priore.

"This has been in the works," the source said.

It comes at a time of change in Penn's athletic department, with athletic director Steve Bilsky retiring, to be replaced July 1 by Loyola of Chicago AD M. Grace Calhoun. Bilsky, who is taking over as executive director of the Big Five, will make a personnel announcement on Wednesday, according to a university news release.

Priore has been Penn's associate head coach since 2006, and predated Bagnoli on Penn's staff, joining the Quakers in 1987. He has been Penn's defensive coordinator since 1999.

A 1985 graduate of the University of Albany, Priore served as Penn's recruiting coordinator from 1992 to 2005 and coached each position of the defense at various times. He also worked a stint as special-teams coordinator.

From 2008 to 2010, Penn led the Ivies in scoring defense and rushing defense. The Quakers pulled off that same feat from 2001 to 2003.

Bagnoli will retire as the second-winningest coach in the history of the Ivy League. His teams put up back-to-back undefeated seasons three times. Now 61, Bagnoli has been a head coach since he took over Union College's team when he was 29.

Bagnoli's last Ivy League title came in 2012, when the Quakers pulled out four last-minute victories. The nine league championships under his watch are more than any other Ivy school has won outright.

"I would have to say Al Bagnoli would be the all-time greatest Ivy League coach," Villanova coach Andy Talley said. "He did it in an era when everybody [in the Ivies] upgraded their football programs."

Talley added, "His teams were extremely well-prepared, and among the hardest-hitting and most physical teams that we played, truly. . . . Al has always coached with class. The game is losing one of the nice people and a very high-principled individual."


Bagnoli's Penn Coaching Record

   OVERALL   IVY LEAGUE   

Year   W   L   Pct.   W   L   Pct.   Finish   

1992   7   3   .700   5   2   .714   3d   

1993   10   0   1.000   7   0   1.000   1st   

1994   9   0   1.000   7   0   1.000   1st   

1995   7   3   .700   5   2   .714   T-2d   

1996   5   5   .500   3   4   .429   5th   

1997*   1   9   .100   0   7   .000   8th   

1998   8   2   .800   6   1   .857   1st   

1999   5   5   .500   4   3   .571   4th   

2000   7   3   .700   6   1   .857   1st   

2001   8   1   .889   6   1   .857   2d   

2002   9   1   .900   7   0   1.000   1st   

2003   10   0   1.000   7   0   1.000   1st   

2004   8   2   .800   6   1   .857   2d   

2005   5   5   .500   3   4   .429   6th   

2006   5   5   .500   3   4   .429   T-4th   

2007   4   6   .400   3   4   .429   T-4th   

2008   6   4   .600   5   2   .714   T-3d   

2009   8   2   .800   7   0   1.000   1st   

2010   9   1   .900   7   0   1.000   1st   

2011   5   5   .500   4   3   .571   T-2d   

2012   6   4   .600   6   1   .857   1st   

2013   4   6   .400   3   4   .429   T-4th   

Totals   146   72   .670   110   44   .714       

*Five victories forfeited for use of a player later ruled ineligible.


mjensen@phillynews.com

@jensenoffcampus

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