Carzo Cage

Cage named for athletics director emeritus

The newly renovated, multi-use indoor athletics facility in Cousens Gymnasium, known as the Cage, has been dedicated as the Rocco J. Carzo Cage in honor of the athletics director emeritus who first came to Tufts in 1966 as head football coach.

Rocky Carzo, center, with Dean of Arts & Sciences Susan Ernst and Robert S. Bass, A70, an athletics overseer who captained Carzo's first Tufts football team. © Ken Tokarz

The dedication ceremony, which was attended by more than 100 alumni, faculty, staff, administrators, overseers and friends, took place on September 28 during Homecoming Weekend. Carzo's wife of 48 years, Theresa, four of their five children and three of their grandchildren also attended.

Carzo's contributions to the spirit of the Tufts community and to Tufts Athletics were highlighted in tributes by Bill Gehling, who succeeded Carzo as athletics director in 1999, Tufts President Lawrence S. Bacow, Dean of Arts & Sciences Susan Ernst and Robert S. Bass, A70, an athletics overseer who captained Carzo's first Tufts football team.

What Rocky Carzo has given us is the "passionate belief that what happens on our playing fields, on our courts and in our gymnasium has far broader application than the final score," Bacow said. "He has taught us that what our students learn through sport they carry with them for a lifetime—the importance of teamwork, leadership, fair play, respect for others, integrity, commitment and hard work."

Bacow also noted that Carzo, a former vice president of Division III athletics for the National Collegiate Athletic Association, worked tirelessly on behalf of amateur athletics, helping to make Tufts a national role model for Division III sports.

The renovated Cage, Carzo said, is evidence of the commitment and dedication of the Tufts administration and athletics overseers to provide Tufts students with top facilities in which to compete and play. The Cage, built as part of Cousens Gymnasium in 1932, was the premier indoor collegiate athletics facility in New England until Harvard built its indoor arena in the early 1960s.

Carzo and Lisa (Stern) Lax, J86, an Emmy Award-winning Olympic sports producer for NBC, who received the Athletics Department's 2002 Distinguished Achievement Award the night before the Cage dedication. © Ken Tokarz

A bronze plaque with Carzo's image, sculpted by artist Merrilyn Marsh, is mounted on the wall of the Cage. The inscription reads, "Dedicated to the athletics director, coach, mentor and leader who, from 1966 to 1999, joyfully taught the Tufts community that sport is a metaphor for life, and some of the most valuable lessons are imparted through the simple act of learning to play together."