Norries Wilson was the head coach of the football team from 2005 to 2011. Wilson was named the 18th head coach of the football team on December 15, 2005. He is the first African American head coach in the history of Ivy League football.
Wilson enjoyed varied success at Columbia. During the 2006 season, the Lions went 5-5 with 2 conference wins. In contrast, Wilson's predecessor, Bob Shoop, led to Lions to a 2-8 season with 0 conference wins in 2005. However, his overall record of .283 proved unpopular, especially after a disappointing 2011 season. After the final game of 2011, Wilson was asked to step down by M. Diane Murphy.