Columbia Athletics

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The Athletics Department's Lion Logo

Columbia Athletics (also known as Columbia Athletics Department or Physical Education Department) administers the following programs with various degrees of enthusiasm:

Columbia Athletics is based in Dodge Physical Fitness Center.


The history of Columbia varsity sports is often summed up by cynics as "futility." An authority no less than David J. Stern, Commissioner of the NBA, former chairman of the Columbia Trustees, and a graduate of the Law School, has admitted that being a Columbia sports fan isn't easy.

Some of Columbia's top sporting highlights include, in chronological order:

  • Columbia rowers won the Visitor's Challenge Cup at the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta on the Thames in 1878
  • 1934 Rose Bowl 7-0 victory over Stanford
  • 1947 upset of the powerhouse Army Cadets, who hadn't lost a game in years
  • 1978-1985 Men's Soccer teams that captured eight consecutive titles
  • archery won a national title in 2005
  • In the 2006-2007 academic year, Columbia Athletics set a record for number of Ivy League titles won in a year with 5. Women's Soccer, Women's Golf, Women's Fencing, Men's Fencing, and Men's Tennis all brought home titles.


Physical Education

The department administers the undergraduate physical education requirement. A few extra classes beyond this requirement, and one can actually concentrate in Physical Education. Just ask Ken Torey.

Varsity Sports

The two most prominent varsity sports are football and basketball, which generally have not performed well in recent decades. Instead, Columbia has performed better in other sports such as fencing, cross country, soccer, crew, wrestling, tennis and archery.

Notable athletes and sports personalities

Many Columbians play a major role in the world of sports, some who were athletes at Columbia, and some who weren't:

  • Lou Gehrig
  • Bob Sheppard '33 - "Voice of the Yankees"
  • Red Auerbach SLJC 1939 - Legendary coach and executive of the Boston Celtics
  • Roone Arledge C '52 - President of ABC Sports (and ABC News), inventor of Monday Night Football
  • Alfred Lerner C '55 - Late owner of the NFL Cleveland Browns
  • Robert Kraft C '63 - owner of the NFL New England Patriots
  • David J. Stern L '66 - Commissioner of the NBA
  • Jeffrey Loria B '68 - Owner of the MLB Florida Marlins
  • Stan Kasten L '76 - President, MLB Washington Nationals (2005-Present), President, MLB Atlanta Braves (1986-2003), GM NBA Atlanta Hawks (1979-1990), President, NHL Atlanta Thrashers (1999-2003)
  • Gary Cohen C '81 - TV play-by-play announcer for the New York Mets
  • Mark Attanasio L '82 - Owner of the MLB Milwaukee Brewers
  • Randy Lerner C '84 - Owner of the NFL Cleveland Browns, and English Premiership club Aston Villa F.C.
  • Max Kellerman C '98 - Former host of ESPN's "Around the Horn" and host of his own radio show on ESPN radio
  • Aaron Marcovy C '05 - Four seat of the Oxford-winning blue boat in the 2008 Boat Race
  • Jed Dupree CC'01, Erinn Smart BC'02, and Dan Kellner CC'98 - Olympic fencers
  • Cristina Teuscher CC'00 - won an Olympic gold in swimming

External links