Longtime Roxbury Teacher, Gael Football Head Coach Cosmo Lorusso Set to Retire in June 

Photo Credit: Larry Goldsholl

By: Jerry Del Priore 


Soon-to-be-former Roxbury Football Head Coach and teacher Cosmo Lorusso has spent what seems like a lifetime in education and in the gridiron coaching ranks. 


But that will come to an end in June, Lorusso announced recently, as he wants to spend a little time recharging his batteries. 


However, Lorusso said, “I feel I’m stepping down rather than retiring. I don’t think I’m totally done coaching. I might wind up on someone’s sidelines somewhere as an assistant next season. I think I have the experience to offer something. I’ve talked to former head coaches, and they’ve all had great experiences. They said ‘You’re going back to how it all started.’”


During Lorusso’s tenure, he was part of Summit and Lenape Valley high schools football coaching staff for a few years as an assistant coach and a measure of time as a head coach at Pequannock and Sussex Tech. 


But the bulk of Lorusso’s coaching years has been spent guiding the Gaels for 20 years, where he posted a 167-122 record. For his gridiron career, spanning over three decades, he won four sectional titles, two apiece with Roxbury and Pequannock.


Victories aside, the most important thing to Lorusso has been the positive effect he had on the impressionable student-athletes he was able to guide and coach across the years.


“That’s what’s made it such a fun ride,” he said of the positive influence he had on countless young adults. “Guys have been calling me to say what an impact I’ve made in their lives. I’ve helped them become better men. I have taught them to be better fathers, better people. It felt really good to hear all the good things from my former players.”  


As far as his tenure at Roxbury, as well as other high schools he worked for, Lorusso had nothing but glowing things to say about the institutions and what he got out of them as a person and professional. 


“This school (Roxbury) has been a great place for me, as well as all the other places I’ve coached,” Lorusso said. 


Lorusso said one of the things he is most proud of is the fact that he never lost a student-athlete at Roxbury to a private high school.


“We never lost a player to a parochial school,” he said. “That says a lot about our school and football program.”


Though he has coached several Division I college players, Lorusso has never had a student-athlete reach the professional ranks. But he will get the chance with Youngstown linebacker Grant Dixon–an ex-two-time Northwest Jersey Conference Player of the Year recipient who has hired an agent–if he gets drafted by an NFL team or signs a free agent deal with a pro team.  


While Lorusso had experienced the college coaching itch at one time during his career, he decided to stay in the high school coaching arena, a decision that he said left him with opportunities to leave a bigger imprint behind. 


“There was a time that I wanted to go to the college level,” the 57-year-old explained. “But I’m glad I stayed at the high school level. I’ve been able to have a greater impact.” 


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