Stamford Advocate

‘Kind hearted warrior’


A selection of reaction from Yale alumni on the death of former Bulldogs assistant football coach Rich Pont (courtesy Tom Kokoska):

“He was a remarkable coach, a kind and thoughtful teacher and a gentle but firm human being. He expected us to play hard and above all to play fair. For Calvin, Brian, Nick and myself, Richie was our inspiratio­n. He helped our ‘68 Yale team become one of the greatest ever. I will always be grateful to him.” —Bob Levin ‘69

“Rich Pont taught me to do it right, the same way, EVERY TIME. Not sometimes, not most of the time but all of the time - no plays off in practice or games. It is my life’s reminder in why you strive for perfection, in practice and games, in things big and small. Coach Pont taught me the value of attention to detail and so much more. His approach, quiet determinat­ion, and will to do what it takes to win, have been guiding lights for me through the years.” —Pat O’Brien ‘78

“I was a little used back behind John Pagliaro but Coach Pont never treated me or any of the backup backs like we didn’t matter. He coached us hard and continued to try and make us better. He was one of a kind.” —Bob Wallace ‘78

“When I made mistakes, his correction was purposeful, thorough, and helped build me up. I learned that strength includes kindness, patience, and persistenc­e. I learned that real confidence is not bravado, but inner belief.” —Tony Grimes ‘85 “Coach Pont never gave up on anyone, no matter how long it took.” —Tom Moyer ‘82

“A great human being on so many levels —- pure to the soul, nothing corrupted — pure clarity and quiet passion offered to us with a glance. His grace and brilliance was so understate­d, yet profound.” —Jeff Rohrer ‘82

“Probably the nicest man I have ever met. A kind hearted warrior. Just the type of person we all admire. Regardless of how much I deserved it, he never had anything bad to say.” —John Nitti ‘81

“In my recruiting visit in January 1971 icy weather delayed my flight 8 hours but Coach Pont never left the Hartford airport waiting for me.” —Bob Fernandez ‘75

“Rich was a wonderful package of energy, exhorting, and persuading us to do more, and was an intensely observant man. I’ll always remember that he took time out of his busy schedule to come out on a cold night in January to see me in a play. He knew that living your life and success was just a matter of inches.” —Tyrell Hennings ‘75

“I was always impressed by the respect and gravitas that such a little guy commanded from the mighty beasts he stood among. He unfailingl­y inspired and encouraged all of us on both sides of the ball, and got us to contribute our best. He was always an outsized spirit in an unexpected package.” —Tim Randall ‘97

“Coach Pont had a uniquely quiet ability to command respect and obtain the most from his players. He was a stickler in many respects on technique, footwork and other fundamenta­ls, and he always strove for us to be as precise and efficient as we could be. Rich always said: ‘Just flow through, don’t lock on, just flow through.’ I have recounted this phrase in many settings in my business and personal endeavors over the years.” —Dennis Dunn 80

“Small in stature, he was neverthele­ss a giant, quiet in demeanor, his voice was always heard.” —Pat Ruwe ‘83

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