Not half bad

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Rich Synkoski/Columbia Spectator
Offensive tackle Matt Barsamian ’07CC (center) embraces defensive end Darren Schmidt ’07CC following the Lions’ last-second victory over Brown. Also pictured are (from left) offensive guard Uche Osadebe ’07CC, wide receiver Nick DeGasperis ’07CC, and tight end Jamal Russell ’08CC.

The 2006 season will be remembered as the first for head coach Norries Wilson, the former University of Connecticut offensive coordinator who was hired in the off-season to replace Bob Shoop. In coaching the squad to early September triumphs over Fordham and then Georgetown, Wilson became the first Columbia head coach since the legendary Lou Little to win his first two games.

 The Lions then lost five of their next six before rebounding to defeat Cornell 21-14 in front of a lively Baker Field crowd in the season’s penultimate game. That win ended a 16-game losing streak in Ivy League play that stretched back to mid-2004. The team was led by wide receiver Austin Knowlin ’10CC, the Ivy League Rookie of the Year, and offensive tackle Matt Barsamian ’07CC and free safety Tad Crawford ’07CC, both of whom received first-team All-Ivy League honors.