True Blue

The Carm Cozza Story

Carm Cozza, with Rick Odermatt

View Inside Price: $45.00


August 11, 1999
304 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
80 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300080995
Cloth

For thirty-two years there was no finer example of excellence in college football than Coach Carm Cozza’s program at Yale University. This engaging book is Cozza’s story, the reminiscences of a caring and principled teacher whose course material was athletic competition, whose classroom was a football field, and whose final exam was The Game against Harvard, with tens of thousands on hand to grade the performance.

Cozza brings us behind the scenes for the famous 29–29 "loss" against Harvard in 1968, he recalls the antiwar protesters in the 1970s who were less than enthusiastic about a combat sport, and he marvels over the courage of 1989 captain Jon Reese, who played a game against Cornell with a broken jaw, enabling Cozza to win his tenth and last Ivy League title. He tells stories about some of the outstanding men who played for him, among them Dick Jauron, Gary Fencik, Calvin Hill, Brian Dowling, Rich Diana, John Spagnola, Rudy Green, John Pagliaro, Kelly Ryan, Stone Phillips, and Jack Ford. He recounts how difficult it was to adhere to the highest standards of academic excellence and amateur purity while major college teams were lowering standards, abusing rules, and exploiting athletes in the quest for victories and revenue. And he offers thoughts on how Yale—and similar elite schools—can invigorate their football programs without succumbing to the excesses of the big-time conferences.

Carmen L. Cozza is currently special assistant at Yale University. Rick Odermatt, a former newspaper reporter, columnist, and editor, is the owner of October Publications.

"This book is for Old Blues and Young Blues and Wannabe Blues and, more than anyone, for the head-in –the-sand administrators who have let Ivy League football fall by the wayside. What is the value of athletics at an institution of higher learning? Carmen Cozza, the football coach at Yale for 32 years, presents his case with sincerity and reason. His life, itself, is exhibit A. He is a voice of common sense, speaking on a November afternoon on the practice field on New Haven, everyone getting ready to meet the heathens from Harvard in the Bowl on Saturday. Great Stuff."—Leigh Montville, Senior Writer, Sports Illustrated

"Carmen Cozza's notable thirty-two year coaching career at Yale can be shared by all of us lucky people who have read True Blue. His memoir sparkles with warmth, modesty, humor and great inside stories. Bi-ngo, Bi-ngo to Carm Cozza."—Al Silverman, Co-Editor of The Twentieth Century Treasury of Sports

"Carmen Cozza represents all that is good in college athletics. His honesty, integrity, and loyalty combined with his ability to teach and inspire young men made him the winningest coach in Yale's illustrious football history. His is a story that deserves to be told."—Dick Jauron, Head Coach, Chicago Bears

"The distinguished President of Yale, Bart Giamatti felt that Yale should meet its 'social responsibility' by giving young people of ability 'the opportunity to educate themselves and to be educated for the full claims of citizenship.' No teacher at Yale was as diligent in this mission than Carm Cozza. His classroom was Yale Bowl. I was privileged to a member of his first classes. True Blue makes me wish I were back at Yale."—Calvin Hill, Sports Consultant

"A beloved career college football coach reflects back on his coaching years in this endearing and modest autobiography. . . . What comes out most in True Blue . . . is Coach Cozza's appreciation for and commitment to his players. . . . A book that will make all Yalies and Ivy League football lovers a little nostalgic. Coach Cozza's story and his modest and paternal way of developing student-athletes can also serve as a blueprint for all college coaches."—Kirkus Reviews

"What Cozza and Odermatt have produced is part entertainment, part history, part clearing the air. . . . Cozza has loads of yarns to spin, and Odermatt has woven them and history into one fabric."—Bob Barton, New Haven Register

"This important book demonstrates that an outstanding coach of excellent character can be successful in spite of the constraints imposed by a high-minded university and at the same time be a formidable presence in the development of young student-athletes. "—Jack Cavanaugh, sportswriter, New York Times

"Carm Cozza’s notable thirty-two-year coaching career at Yale can now be shared by all of us lucky people who have read True Blue. His memoir sparkles with warmth, modesty, humor, and great inside stories. Bi-ngo, Bi-ngo to Carm Cozza. "—Al Silverman, coeditor, Twentieth Century Treasury of Sports

"Carmen Cozza represents all that is good in college athletics. His honesty, integrity, and loyalty combined with his ability to teach and inspire young men made him the winningest coach in Yale’s illustrious football history. His is a story that deserves to be told."—Dick Jauron, head coach, Chicago Bears

"[Cozza] reflects on the challenges of running a quality football program at a university where hitting the books is still considered as important as hitting your man."—Publishers Weekly

"A spirited recollection."—Doug Allen, New Yorker (referring to the 1968 Harvard game)