Columbia hires first black head coach in Ivy League

Updated: December 12, 2005, 7:21 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Norries Wilson became the first black head football coach in Ivy League history, taking over a Columbia program that hasn't had a winning season since 1996.

The former Connecticut offensive coordinator was introduced at a news conference Monday at Columbia's Manhattan campus, a day after being hired by the Division I-AA program.

The Lions were 2-8 overall this season and winless in the Ivy League.

"I want to say that we're going to be successful in football here at Columbia," Wilson said. "A lot of people don't believe that. A lot of my friends call me and say, 'Coach, what are you doing?' And I say, 'Well, we're going to go win some games.' We're going to teach them how to win and leave them with a great experience as far as playing football."

Columbia hasn't won a league title since sharing the crown in 1961.

Wilson replaces Bob Shoop, who was fired on Nov. 20, a day after a 52-21 loss to Brown. Shoop was 7-23 in three seasons.

Wilson had spent the last seven season as an assistant at UConn and the past four seasons as offensive coordinator for head coach Randy Edsall.

In 2004, Wilson's offense led the Big East in scoring and rushing. The Huskies slipped to second to last in total offense this season with injuries forcing them to use three different quarterbacks.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press