Poppe Named Head Football Coach


Jon Poppe, an assistant coach on Al Bagnoli’s staff at Columbia for three seasons before spending the 2023 season as head coach at Union College, has rejoined the Lions as the Patricia and Shepard Alexander Head Coach of Football. He is the 22nd head coach in the program’s history.

Poppe succeeds Mark Fabish, who was interim head coach after Bagnoli retired due to health concerns just before the start of the 2023 season.

As head coach at Union, Poppe guided the Garnet Chargers, who compete in the Liberty League, to a 10–2 record. His squad scored 32.6 points per game and allowed just 11.4 ppg, the eighth lowest in the nation; they advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.

A 2007 graduate of Williams, Poppe has more than a decade of coaching experience in the Ivy League. At Columbia, he was secondary coach and recruiting coordinator from 2015 to 2017. His secondary unit twice led the Ivy League in pass defense and in 2017 he helped the Lions post an 8–2 record, their best since 1996. In that season, Columbia led the league with 13 interceptions and was second in points allowed (17.5 ppg).

He also had two stints with Harvard (2011–14, 2018–22) as secondary and special teams coach, where his units were among the best in the country at the NCAA Division I Football Championship Series level. Previously, he was an intern assistant coach at King’s (Pa.) College (2007), a graduate assistant coach at Springfield (2008–09) and an assistant secondary coach at Holy Cross (2010).

Poppe takes over a team that dipped to a 3–7 record in 2023 after compiling winning records in four of the previous five seasons under Bagnoli.