NEW YORKâColumbia Athletics is saddened to learn of the passing of former football head coach Frank Navarro. Navarro, who coached Columbia for six years from 1968 to 1973, has died at the age of 91.
“Columbia Football is saddened to learn of the loss of coach Frank Navarro,” said Patricia and Shepard Alexander, head football coach. Al Bagnoli noted. Frank has enjoyed a long and illustrious career as a college coach. He has had a very positive impact on a multitude of former Columbia football players, including some of the most recognizable and successful players to ever wear the Light Blue. Our thoughts and prayers are with Frank family. “
In particular, Navarro led Columbia to a 6-3 overall record and a second place finish in the Ivy League with a 5-2 record in 1971. Columbia’s three losses in that season were all three points or so. minus and key wins included a 22-20 victory over Princeton, a 15-14 victory over Yale over Homecoming and a 31-29 victory over Dartmouth in which linebacker Paul Kaliades kicked the game-winning basket in the dying minutes. Navarro brought in and coached players such as Kaliades, Don Jackson, Ted Gregory, Marty Domres, Mike Pyszczymucha, Jesse Parks, Mike Jones, George Starke, Mike Evans, John Sefcik, Mike Telep, Charles Johnson and George Georges.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Navarro family.
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– Columbia Football (@CULionsFB) June 1, 2021
Navarro’s six years at Columbia ranks as the fourth longest term as a coach in Columbia football history.
In 1955, Navarro began his college coaching career at Columbia when Lou Little hired him to be the assistant offensive line coach under John Bateman, after a two-year stint in the United States Air Force. . After a season in New York, Navarro joined the coaching staff at Williams College, where he was an assistant coach for eight seasons from 1956 to 1962. In 1963 he was promoted to head coach and for the next four years, Navarro guided the Ephs to a spectacular 28-11-1 record, including a 7-1 season in 1964, consecutive 6-2 in 1965 and 1966, and a 7-0-1 list in 1967 before returning. at Columbia as head football coach in 1968.
After four successful years at Wabash College (Ind.) From 1974 to 1977, Navarro became a head coach at Princeton, where he led the Tigers football program from 1978 to 1984. He compiled a coaching career record college football 99-99-6 in 22 years in total as a head coach.
A 1953 University of Maryland graduate, Navarro played guard on the Terrapins football team. He helped guide Maryland to a Sugar Bowl victory in 1952 over Tennessee and the national championship that followed.
Interestingly, Navarro posed for Norman Rockwell’s painting “The Recruit,” which portrays Navarro as a coach, Williams student-athlete, and athletic trainer.
He is survived by his wife Jill Navarro, his eight children and 22 grandchildren.