Last go-round for Penn's Bagnoli

DAVID MAIALETTI / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Al Bagnoli will retire at the end of his 23rd season at Penn.
DAVID MAIALETTI / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Al Bagnoli will retire at the end of his 23rd season at Penn.
Posted: August 07, 2014

THEY CHRISTENED him the "dean" of Ivy League coaches.

Al Bagnoli gained more respect among his peers as the good-spirited fella who strutted down Penn's sideline for two decades than he did chanting plays from a plastic clipboard on Saturday afternoons.

Harvard head coach Tim Murphy said he "would hate to be the next guy ." Cornell's David Archer said that when the Big Red hired him in 2013, Bagnoli was the first man to come and shake his hand at the coaches' meeting.

His passion was unprecedented and his team was one of the most consistent at any level of college football. And when the ambassador of Ivy League football says his goodbyes to the sport at the end of the season, Brown's Phil Estes is going to miss his golfing buddy.

"He's a winner, a great leader, a guy I have the utmost respect for as a coach," Estes said during the conference's media teleconference yesterday. "He's a very good friend . . . but a guy I can call and throw things off to get an opinion. He's a guy I'm going to miss a lot. He embodied in the way he coached, every time you played against Penn you knew it was going to be a physical game."

Bagnoli, 61, is retiring at the end of the season, his 23rd consecutive season parading around the white hashes at Franklin Field and around the Ivy League.

Under Bagnoli since 1992, the Quakers have won nine outright Ivy League titles, had six undefeated Ivy seasons and have a record of 146-72. Including 10 seasons at Union College, Bagnoli's record is 232-91.

Though the legendary coach was "humbled" by the remarks of his peers, he added that he's grateful to be a part of the Ivy's "special fraternity" of coaches, athletes and people.

"I've been fortunate to be a part of some really good moments,'' said Bagnoli, whose team was picked to finish fourth in the Ivy. "I think if you stay at any job long enough, there's always going to be a balance between the high moments and low moments, and I've experienced the extremes on both. I've been blessed to deal with a great institution and it's an honor to do this for so long."

Defensive coordinator, Ray Priore will take over for Bagnoli.

When Penn defeated Dartmouth in four overtimes last season, Big Green coach Buddy Teevens was asked to comment and said with emphasis what every coach who knows Bagnoli would echo.

"It's Al," Teevens said.

"The admiration for what he does on the field and off the field. It's Al."

On Twitter: @TylerRickyTynes

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