Siedlecki Named Head Football Coach of the Yale Football Team

Cozza's Successor Has 21 Years of College Coaching Experience

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Jack Siedlecki, the 45-year-old Amherst College head coach, has been named the head coach of the Yale football team. He was introduced as Carm Cozza's successor at Thursday's press conference in the Ray Tompkins House.

Siedlecki (pronounced SID-leck-EE), who has 21 years of college coaching experience, including nine as a head coach, compiled a 20-11-1 record at Division III Amherst in four seasons and was the 1996 American Football Coaches Association District I Coach of the Year after going 7-1 and winning the New England Small College Athletic Conference championship.

"I am very excited about the opportunity to coach at a place that is so rich in tradition. The goals of the program are clear to me," said the 33rd Yale head football coach. "Beat Harvard and win the Ivy title. I'm not sure which is more important, but that is what we will work towards."

He had a 36-11-1 mark in five campaigns as head football coach at Division III Worcester (Mass.) Polytechnic Institute, where his 1990 team went 8-0-1 and teh 1992 squad had a 9-1 record and was ranked first in the ECAC New England poll. Siedlecki, who has been both an offensive and defensive coordinator but has coach the offensive line the last 15 seasons, was the 1992 AFCA Kodak District I Coach of the Year.

Siedlecki, an assistant coach at Albany (N.Y.) State (1976-79), Wagner (1980) and Lafayette (1981-87), has coached three different teams (Albany State '77, Wagner '80, WPI '93) in the national playoffs and his overall head coaching record is 56-22-2 (.713).

"Jack Siedlecki is a coach who has proven that he knows how to win, and he has done an excellent job in many situations," said Yale's Director of Athletics Tom Beckett. "We were thrilled when our search committee found him, and we look forward to working with him to build an Ivy League contender and eventually a championship program."

Siedlecki's endowed position at Yale has been officially called the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Football since 1988. He takes over for Cozza, the 66-year-old retiring Yale head coach, who finished his 32nd season this fall with an overall record of 179-119-5 (.599). Cozza, the winningest coach in the history of Ivy League football and the leader of 10 league championship teams, will stay on with the Yale Athletic Department to help the new coach in the transition.

The Bulldogs went 2-8 last fall and finished eighth in the Ancient Eight with a 1-6 mark. The new Bulldog leader inherits a team that will lose 25 seniors, including both regular quarterbacks, but one that will face a much easier schedule than Cozza's last team. The '96 Yale schedule was considered to be one of the toughest in Division I-AA. Siedlecki's first Bulldog squad will play the traditional league schedule and non-league games against Connecticut, Bucknell and Valparaiso (at Soldiers Field, Chicago).

Siedlecki is a 1974 graduate of Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., where he earned letters playing both running back and linebacker. Siedlecki, also a letter winner in baseball, was a three-sport star at Johnstown (N.Y.) High School, where his father served as head coach for more than 20 season.

He and his wife, Nancy, have three children: Kevin, 13; Jackie, 11; and Amy, 8.

from Yale Sports Publicity, December 19, 1996