PENN WENT 2-8 in 2014, after losing its last four the year before to end up 4-6.
And Al Bagnoli, who'd inherited a 2-8 team himself, handed the keys to longtime assistant Ray Priore after nine Ivy League titles in 23 seasons.
Saturday the Quakers (7-3, 6-1) clinched their second straight shared championship with a 42-20 win at Cornell (4-6, 2-5). Last year they finished tied with Harvard and Dartmouth. This time it was them and Princeton (8-2), which they lost to. In the Ivies there are no tiebreakers. Harvard (7-3, 5-2) could have made it another three-way scrum but it lost at home to Yale (3-7, 3-4).
It's Penn's first back-to-back titles since 2009-10. And the third time the Quakers have done it since getting five in a row from 1982-86.
Priore becomes the second Ivy coach to do it in each of his first two seasons. He joins Dartmouth's Jake Crouthamel, who did it in his first three years (1971-73). But the Big Green had also won it the two years before that.
It made for some bus ride home from upstate New York.
"It really gives you time to reflect on what you were able to do," said Priore, who's been a part of a dozen titles. "When you do it at home you're being mobbed by your family and all those things. This allowed me to really think about how lucky I am. No doubt about it. It's very rewarding.
"It's funny though. (Sunday) morning I woke up and went, 'OK, who are we going to be in 365 days?' Because what we do today is going to have an impact on that."
Coming off a 27-14 home win over Harvard in which they scored twice in the last 15 seconds, the Quakers never trailed. It was 28-13 at the half.
Justin Watson set program records by finishing with 89 catches for 1,120 yards. Tre Solomon rushed for a career-best 173 on 32 carries. Alek Torgersen closed out a record-setting career by throwing for 284.
"You don't do this by yourself," said Priore. "You surround yourself with great people and great kids. It's really hard to win. You're not just playing for yourself. You're playing for everyone who's been a part of this great tradition. You want to get your picture up on the wall in the football complex. That's the legacy."
Priore keeps his rings on a mantel above the fireplace at his house.
"It's a symbol of excellence, a mini-trophy," he said. "It shows all the effort and work that goes into it. You earn everything you get in this world. The kids get that. We just want to chase that dream."