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Ernie Cozens

Sport: Football

Born: November 24, 1888

Died: June 8, 1929

Town: Haddonfield

Ernest Brazier Cozens was born November 24, 1888 in Haddonfield. While attending the Haverford School in the suburbs of Philadelphia, he showed himself to be a quick and powerful athlete with great vision and anticipation. He was an outstanding hitter and played catcher in an era when dealing with bunts and throwing to the bases were prized skills. “Ernie” was also a talented lineman for the football team. He learned from two of the best—former Princeton stars A.C. Tyler and Roy Vetterlein.

Ernie enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania and spent a lot of time crouching in a Quaker uniform. He was the center on the football team and the catcher on the baseball team.

He earned All-Eastern recognition as a catcher and consensus All-America honors as a senior in 1910. He also captained the team He was one of the first roving centers, able to pop back and lead the blocking around end. On defense, he often positioned himself a step or two in back of the line in order to move laterally for tackles. The Quakers went 9–1–1 that year.

Ernie took a job coaching football team at Carnegie Tech in 1911 and also coached a prep school baseball team in Pittsburgh. After serving in the military during World War I he was hired as Manager of Athletics at Penn. In this position, in addition to his involvement in football, Ernie became influential in college boxing and baseball. He organized and served as president of both the Eastern Collegiate Baseball and Boxing Associations. Another one of his pet projects was bringing together more ast Coast and West Coast football teams in an alternating home games scheme.

Ernie continued playing competitive sports. He was a member of the Penn graduate baseball team. The day after a game in 1929 during which he caught for several innings and legged out a triple, Ernest suffered a heart attack at his disk in Weightman Hall and died. He was 40 years old.


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