Football announces promotions and additions to the coaching staff
NEW YORK– Columbia University’s Patricia and Shepard Alexander, Head Coach of Football Al Bagnoli officially announced a number of new additions to the coaching staff on Tuesday morning.
assistant coach Justin Stovall was promoted from linebackers coach/special teams coordinator to defensive coordinator, defensive line coach Andreas Kukesch moves to defensive backs coach/defensive pass game coordinator, and Columbia adds three new assistant coaches, including Paul Rice (Linebacker Coach/Special Team Coordinator), Christopher West (Defensive line coach) and former Lions quarterback Skyler Morning Way ’16CC (Quarterbacks Coach). Also a former linebacker for the Lions Justin Woodley ’22CC is the Lions’ new defensive assistant and Aaron Curry was hired as Assistant Player Personnel/Social Media Assistant.
After a successful seven-year streak as Columbia’s linebackers coach and special teams coordinator, Stovall is transitioning to the position of Lions’ defensive coordinator. Under Stovall, Columbia has built a all-round dominant and dependable special teams unit and a strong, dependable, and athletic linebacker corps. Stovall’s units helped Columbia to 24 wins in the last four seasons, Columbia’s most successful four years since 1948. On special teams, Stovall’s units have set 44 new team and individual school records and led the league 15 times in various special team categories including blocked kicks, kickoff returns -Average, punt return average, net punting average, kickoff coverage, on-side kicks and PAT kicks, and also ranked in the top 20 national leaders in 21 different categories. His linebacker crews have always been some of the most talented, deepest and strongest units in the program.
Rice comes to Columbia as linebackers coach/special teams coordinator after serving as a defensive analyst with the Atlanta Falcons (2021). Prior to his role with the Falcons, Rice was defensive coordinator/linebackers coach at Fordham University (2018-20) and coached for five years at his alma mater Yale (2013-18), where he served throughout his tenure as outside linebackers coach coordinator for Special teams from 2017-18. Rice began his coaching career in 2012 as an offensive graduate assistant coach at Georgia Tech. He also played a season for L’Hospitalet Pioners (Barcelona, Spain) in spring 2011. was the team captain, four-year starter, and First Team All-Ivy League linebacker/cornerback for the Bulldogs. A full biography on Paul Rice will be posted at this link.
West is beginning his new position as defensive line coach after spending the 2021 season in the same role at Delta State University. He also served as a defensive line coach at NCAA Division III Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama (2019-20), at Riverwood International Charter School in Sandy Springs, Georgia (2018), and two seasons at his alma mater Valdosta State (2016- 17). West graduated from Valdosta State with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies. For a full biography of West, follow this link.
Mornhinweg, a former Columbia quarterback, spent the last three years as quarterbacks coach/offensive coordinator at Midwestern State (2019-21). In 2018 he also spent a year as a graduate assistant in the state of Ohio. Mornhinweg, who played 17 games from 12 starts for Columbia in 2015 and 2016, made the move from Florida to Columbia ahead of the 2015 season. He completed 190 of 334 passes (56.4 percent) for 1,653 yards and eight touchdowns. He will now teach Columbia’s signal callers as quarterbacks coach. For a full Morhinweg bio, follow this link.
Kukesh is transitioning from Columbia’s defensive line coach to his defensive backs coach/defensive pass game coordinator. Under Kukesh in his first season as coach of Columbia’s defensive line in 2021, the Lions recorded 26 sacks for 160 yards and 73 tackles for loss on their way to a 7-3 aggregate win and a 4-3 Ivy League record 303 yards. Senior Paul Aker was named an FCS ADA All-American and Second Team All-Ivy League selection after registering 42 tackles, 9.0 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks. Overall, the Lions’ defensive line totaled 12.5 sacks.
Woodley, a four-year letterman for the Lions as a linebacker, is taking on his new role on the Columbia coaching staff as a defensive assistant. While struggling with injuries throughout his career, Woodley played in 22 career games with eight starts as a linebacker from 2017-22. He had 64 tackles (26 solo), 6.0 tackles for loss for 22 yards, had a sack for 11 yards, broke four passes, recovered a fumble, caught two passes for 16 return yards, and scored a touchdown on one restored blocked punt. He also served as team captain as a senior in 2021. He is a 2022 graduate with a degree in Psychology. A full biography of Woodley can be found at this link.
Curry joins the Columbia Football Program as player personnel director and assistant social media director. Previously, he worked for two years as Graduate Assistant for Academics and Compliance at Wagner College (2019-21). Curry, a former defensive tackle at TCU and Nebraska, earned Second Team All-Big 12 honors and was a 2016 Wuerffel Trophy nominee. He is co-founder and president of the TCU SPARK program, which used the collegiate athletics platform for inspiration and encourage socio-economically disadvantaged youth to stay in schools and high schools to deliver inspirational speeches. A native of Keller, Texas, he graduated from TCU with a degree in criminal justice in 2017 and earned a master’s degree in arts, entertainment and media management from Wagner College in 2021.