"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."
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