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TRUE BLUE by Carmen L. Cozza


The Carm Cozza Story

by Carmen L. Cozza & Rick Odermatt

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-300-08099-9
Publisher: Yale Univ.

A beloved career college football coach reflects back on his coaching years in this endearing and modest autobiography. For 32 years, Cozza served as Yale’s football coach: From 1965 to 1996, his overall record was a .599 (179 wins, 119 losses, and 5 ties), with four championships and five co-championships. But although key games and rivalries are retold in detailed fashion, what comes out most in True Blue, co-written with Odermatt, a former newspaper reporter, columnist, and editor, is Coach Cozza’s appreciation for and commitment to his players. Cozza writes lovingly of his former players, including 14 who ended up in the NFL (such as Calvin Hill, Gary Fencik, John Spagnola, Dick Jauron), others now famous in other endeavors (Stone Phillips, Jack Ford), but most of whom found fame only in their college football years. Stories of young men who played hurt, such as Kelly Ryan and Jon Reese, are retold in a folkloric, inspiring way. Cozza, who turned down the position of athletic director in 1976 to remain the football coach, also shares his opinions on many issues such as the antiwar demonstrations of the 1960s and the restriction of competition. Most significantly, Cozza writes about the decline of Yale football, citing many factors including: the change from NCAA Division I-A to Division I-AA; the halving of male enrollment at the school due to coeducation; the escalating cost of education at Yale, which offers no athletic or full-ride merit scholarships; recruiting excesses and abuses that were a result of the proliferation of TV money; the dropping of Ivy League games from network telecasts; and an unresponsive admissions office. 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.