| Elephant Walk
Since retiring as director of athletics in 1999, Rocky Carzo hasn’t changed much. He still has an office on the second floor of Halligan Hall, and he still comes to work almost every day.
Carzo was head coach of the Jumbo football team from 1966 to 1973, when he was named athletics director. In “retirement,” he’s worked on his golf game and spent more time with his family, which currently includes eight grandchildren.
Now his latest endeavor is in print: Jumbo Footprints: A History of Tufts Athletics, 1852–1999. Written, edited, designed, and printed by current and former Tufts staff and alumni—with Carzo at the helm—the 324-page softcover book is filled with stories and photos celebrating the long and unique legacy of sports at Tufts.
“I’ve been at Tufts since the 1960s, so it made sense for me to be the one to put together a historical perspective,” Carzo says.
Carzo approached his new task like a good football coach. He assembled a team to work on what, at the outset, appeared overwhelming. Nearly 150 years of history had to be researched, written, and edited. Assigning the creative aspects of the project to others, Carzo contributed by doing what he does best: He rolled up his sleeves and did a lot of the grunt work, compelled the team toward progress when it lagged, and raised the funds necessary to complete the effort.
Appropriately, the dedication at the beginning of the book reads: “All books have authors and editors. This one also had a head coach who kept us in the game.”
Jumbo Footprints features creative writing and personal recollections. Susan Wilson, J69, G75, wrote a comprehensive and sometimes humorous chapter on Jumbo, Tufts’ beloved mascot. Paul Rich, who worked in public relations at Tufts from 1963 to 1973, describes the historic 1875 football game between Tufts and Harvard that challenges the long-held belief that Princeton and Rutgers played the first football game between two American colleges.
Other writers, including eight-time Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year Tim Horgan, A49, cover the journey of Tufts sports from the turn of one century to the dawn of the next. In the beginning, Tufts competed against the major programs of the time before opting to become a Division III school.
“The book was a wonderful, nostalgic trip down memory lane,” says Jack Heneghan, A55, one of the country’s top basketball players as an undergraduate and still fifth at Tufts in career points scored. “The legends of so many Tufts greats were brought to life so vividly. It is a must-read for any Tufts alum, not just the athletes. I have ordered copies for my five kids; I think it is a keepsake.”
To order a copy of Jumbo Footprints, contact Athletics Director Emeritus Rocky Carzo at 617-627-6159 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost is $35 (not including postage). Checks are payable to the Trustees of Tufts University, or you may pay by money order or credit card. The book is also available at the University Bookstore on the Medford/Somerville campus.
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