Joseph R. Carlozo, a former Calvert Hall College High School football coach whose team had a legendary closing-seconds victory at Memorial Stadium on Thanksgiving Day in 1969, died of stroke complications May 20 at Forest Hill Health and Rehabilitation Center. He was 85.
Born in Philadelphia and raised in South Philadelphia, he was the son of Joseph Thomas Carlozo, a painter, and Concetta DeVicaris, a homemaker.
He was a 1946 graduate of Southern High School in South Philadelphia, where he was a standout player on the 1944 and 1945 football teams and played at the Philadelphia Football Championship games at Franklin Field. He was also a member of the Southern track team and competed in the Penn Relays.
He earned a degree at West Chester State Teachers College. Sports writers called him "the golden ram" when he played for the school's football team. Mr. Carlozo was drafted in the seventh round by the New York Giants. He declined the contract and became the head football coach at Palmyra High School in Palmyra, N.J.
In 1957, he moved to Baltimore and coached at Towsontown Junior High School. He joined the coaching staff at Calvert Hall in 1961. He also taught history and coached basketball.
He was named head football coach in 1967. He had a record of 43 wins, 22 losses and two ties. Sports writers voted his team to first place in Maryland in 1969.
Joseph Brune, who was head coach at Loyola High School, recalled that Mr. Carlozo knew how to motivate his players.
"He was flamboyant. He was more of a psychologist than a strategist," said Mr. Brune, who lives in Rodgers Forge.
Mr. Carlozo's most historic win was against Loyola on the 50th anniversary of their rivalry on Thanksgiving morning at Memorial Stadium in 1969.
His son, Joseph V. Carlozo, who was a football player and Calvert Hall student at the time, said, "As a coach he could motivate someone to run through a wall. He was tough. He was compassionate. He loved the underdog."
His son recalled that game was tied 14 to 14 deep into the fourth quarter. With four seconds remaining on the clock, Mr. Carlozo called in a second-team place kicker, 16-year-old Phillip Marsiglia, who had never previously kicked a field goal in game competition.
"The task itself was daunting enough, but the distance, 42 yards, was not, at that time, even common at the professional level," said his son, a Fallston resident who went on to play for Joe Paterno at Penn State. "Marsiglia not only made the field goal, but it could have been good for another 10 yards."
News accounts said that Calvert Hall's fans immediately fled their seats and took over the playing field. "Bedlam broke loose," a Sun account said, adding that "they will be talking about the 50th anniversary game ... come the centennial clash of these two Catholic high school rivals."
Mr. Marsiglia, who is now a pharmacist and lives in Phoenix in Baltimore County, recalled that day.
"Mr. Carlozo gave me a big hug and told me he knew I could do it," he said. "He could build anybody's confidence. He was a tremendous personality. He knew how to get the most out of you."
He recalled that as a coach, Mr. Carlozo demanded his players work until they practically dropped. "His practices were tough and physical. He was a larger-than-life character. He was also an emotional guy. If you did the wrong thing, you heard about it. He could chew you out in ways that would not be acceptable today."
Mr. Marsiglia said he visited his former coach at the nursing home last year and left a letter: "Thank you for having faith in me and more importantly, for teaching me to have faith in myself."
Mr. Carlozo was also a business entrepreneur. He owned and operated the Bon-Air and R-E-S, Recreation-Education-Sports, both summer day camps, and the Scholastic Tutoring Service. He also tried another venture, Captain Joe's Steamed Crabs, which was unsuccessful and involved the home delivery of steamed crabs in trucks.
He was also a founder of the Calvert Hall Quarterback Club.
He coached until 1973 and then lived in Cherry Hill, N.J., where he became a sales trainer. He later returned to Maryland and lived in Forest Hill.
Services will be held at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Evans Funeral Chapel, 3 Newport Drive in Forest Hill.
In addition to his son, survivors include two other sons, Louis Carlozo of Chicago and Anthony Carlozo of Mullica Hill, N.J.; and eight grandchildren. His wife of 57 years, the former Genevieve Pologruto, died in 2007.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun