Journal Archive > 2002 > April

Rocky Carzo

Rocky Carzo
© Mark Morelli

Gridiron Club honors former athletics director

The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston recently honored Rocky Carzo, athletics director emeritus at Tufts, with its Contribution to Football Award.

Carzo was honored along with winners of seven other awards at the club's annual Bob Whelan College Night Banquet. The Gridiron Club, established in 1932, is the second oldest football club in America.

Carzo has a long history at Tufts and in football. He was a fullback on the University of Delaware team until he graduated in 1954. He then spent five of the next six years at UDel, first putting in a year as the assistant freshmen football coach, then spending four years as the assistant varsity football coach. He moved on to the University of California at Berkeley in 1960, where he was the backfield coach and offensive coordinator for six years. At Berkeley, he coached under Marv Levy, who later directed the Buffalo Bills to four Super Bowls. Carzo came to Tufts in 1966 as head football coach.

After coaching the Jumbos until 1973, Carzo was promoted to athletics director. In his 26 years at the helm of athletics, many new facilities were built, including the Gantcher Center; old facilities were improved; the number of intercollegiate teams more than doubled, and Tufts' teams won nearly 70 percent of their contests.

Carzo has been involved in numerous organizations in college football. He chaired the Committee on Football Awards for the ECAC and has had great football responsibilities for the NCAA. He was part of the Selection Committee for College Division Bowl Games, the Post-Season Football Committee and the Football Rules Committee. He was the District I chairman of the Selection Committee for Division III Football Championships for six years and was the national chairman of this committee from 1983 to 1985.

As a member of the National Honors Court of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, he received the Distinguished American Award in 1996. Carzo was the recipient of the George C. Carens Award for contributions to football by the New England Football Writers Association in 1998. He received the Murray Lewis Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to New England Football from the Eastern Association of Intercollegiate Football Officials in 1981. He was the president of the ECAC in 1994 and was also the Division III vice president of the NCAA from 1989 to 1991.

Carzo received the All-American Football Foundation's General Robert Reese Neyland Athletic Director Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. In 1999, Carzo was awarded the ECAC Distinguished Achievement Award and was named the Northeast Region Athletic Director of the Year. In 2000, he was inducted into the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics' Hall of Fame.

Carzo retired in 1999, but still comes to work every day and has an office in Cousens Gym. He is currently working on Jumbo Footprints, a book chronicling the history of athletics at Tufts.

Paul Sweeney is sports information director at Tufts.