Columbia Athletics held a press conference today to announce the recent hire of Peter K. Mangurian. Kevin Powers, of Sports Sunday fame, was there to report:

Coach Peter K. Mangurian

This afternoon in Faculty House, Athletic Director M. Diane Murphy gave a formal introduction to the new Head Football Coach Pete Mangurian. Rocking her signature Columbia blue blazer, Murphy outlined the search process leading up to the announcement earlier this week. Over the past two weeks, the Athletic Department has considered seventeen candidates, looking for a coach with visionary leadership and tremendous coaching experience that understands the Ivy League and, most importantly, Columbia University. After the tireless search, Murphy said, “we found exactly what we were looking for.”

What she found was actually an old acquaintance. From 1995 to 1998, Murphy was an associate athletic director at Cornell where she was heavily involved in the football program, including the hiring of Mangurian as head football coach in 1998. Though Murphy left just months after Mangurian was hired to take over as AD at University of Denver, her relationship with the former Cornell coach undoubtedly got him on the list. Besides her own experience with Mangurian, Murphy quoted others that had worked with him in the past. Murphy’s favorite was a former colleague that called Mangurian, “an intense dude”.

An intense dude might be exactly what the football program needs. As the 19th head football coach in the history of Columbia, Mangurian takes on the difficult challenge of revitalizing a losing program that has struggled to win games over the years. In the press conference, Mangurian admitted, “We’re behind right now. We need to go faster than the competition in order to catch up.” Mangurian believes that his past coaching experience will help him in reevaluating the football program and making necessary changes. Over his 31 year career, Mangurian has coached at every level of football, from the Ivy League to the NFL, with names like the New England Patriots, New York Giants, and Denver Broncos on his resume. Returning to the Ivy League may be humbling, but it offers a unique opportunity build a program from the ground up.

“We need to expect to win,” Magurian said. “We need to expect to be excellent in everything that we do.”

Expecting to win and actually winning are two very different things, but we hope that Mangurian has what it takes to turn the program around. Roar, Lion, Roar!