Former Harvard coach Joe Restic dies

Former Harvard coach Joe Restic dies

Published Dec. 12, 2011 12:00 a.m. ET

Joe Restic, who won or tied for five Ivy League football championships during 23 years as coach at Harvard, has died. He was 85.

Restic coached the Crimson from 1971 through 1993. The university said he died Thursday at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston.

He retired as the winningest coach in Harvard football history with a record of 117-97-6. Tim Murphy passed that this season at 120-59 after his team went 9-1.

Restic served as an assistant coach at Brown from 1956-58 and at Colgate from 1959-61. He spent the next nine seasons as a coach with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League, three as head coach. He moved to Harvard the following season.


He was known for developing his multiflex offense, a complex system with many shifts and formations.

Restic, the longest serving head football coach in Harvard history, was president of the American Football Coaches Association in 1988 and coached in six all-star games.

In an article in 1993, the Boston Globe quoted Restic as saying, ''Success is not what the players on my team do on the field, but what they are doing five years after they leave here. If I can have an impact in helping them along, that's what means the most to me.''

Restic was born on July 21, 1926 in Emeigh Run, Pa. and graduated from Villanova in 1952. He was a wide receiver and defensive back for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1952-53 and played baseball in the Philadelphia Phillies organization.

He is survived by two sons, two daughters, one sister and eight grandchildren.