Couzzo's last hurrah

Posted Monday, May 31, 2010 by Ray Nelson

BOYS LACROSSE Cuozzo's last hurrah

Mount Sinai coach Joe Cuozzo's distinguished career came to a quiet end Thursday, as his Mustangs lost in the Suffolk Class C semifinals to Bayport-Blue Point, 8-4. The all-time winningest boys high school lacrosse coach in the nation finished with a 747-100 record, winning an astounding 88 percent of his games.

"He set a coaching standard that we all try to strive for. Everybody knows that," said Shoreham-Wading River coach Tom Rotanz, who starred on defense for Cuozzo at Ward Melville. That is where Cuozzo made his mark on the sport.

He won 699 games at Ward Melville, including seven state titles, 15 L.I. crowns and 22 Suffolk. At Class C Mount Sinai, Cuozzo added an eighth state title in 2008.

"He was extremely humble and he was extremely tough," Rotanz said. "The thing I liked most is that he demanded excellence and he never wavered."