Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following statement regarding the passing of the legendary Carm Cozza, Yale University’s famed former football coach. Cozza coached the Yale team from 1965 to 1996 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002. Sen. Fasano is an alumni of Yale University where he played football under the coaching of Carm Cozza from 1978 to 1981.
“Coach Carm Cozza is well known for his many awards recognizing his work both on and off the field. His resume is full of historic victories, historic teams and historic players who had successful professional careers in the NFL. However, to me and to his players he was always much more than a successful coach. To his players, he was a mentor, a father figure and an inspiration.
“I believe Coach Cozza’s teams always played even better than they were because they believed in him and they understood and respected the person he was. Nobody ever wanted to let him down, whether it was in practice or on the field. Coach Cozza was a true gentleman who very rarely raised his voice. He cared for his players not only while they were on the team, but even after we graduated. If he read about a former player having difficulty he would reach out and call the former player and either give words of advice or lend a helping hand. And if a former player was doing well he always made sure to congratulate them on a job well done. He remembered all of his players and the years they played, not just the ones who were the starters or the stars, because every player was important to him. I even remember a fellow player who was very sick years after we graduated and Coach Cozza did everything he could to make sure he received the best medical treatment. He always remembered and cared for every one of his players. In addition to his dedication to his players, Carm Cozza was a family man. His family attended virtually every game to support him and we all know how much love and support he had for them. He was very close to his children and grandchildren, always emphasizing that family was the most important thing, next to our teammates.
“Coach Cozza had a saying that I still live by today: ‘leave no regrets.’ He would tell us, don’t say if I only made that block, or if I only ran full speed. Always do the best you can on the field or in life and no matter what the result you know you did the best you could. It’s a message that all his players took with them beyond the football field.
“Carm Cozza inspired, he excited, he motivated, he taught, he molded character. He was a man that I will always remember as having a profound influence on my life. I, as well as hundreds of other former players, had a unique opportunity to play for a coach who taught us more than just football. He gave us lessons in life, just by watching and listening to him. I will miss him greatly. But what he instilled in me, the values that I hold that I have passed down to my own children, will always remain within me. I am hurting today but I am honored to have known him and grateful that he has shaped the person I am today. My heart goes out to his family and all those who knew and loved Coach Cozza.”