Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Carlynton's New Coach Already Nice and Cozy

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Carlynton's New Coach Already Nice and Cozy

Article excerpt

An alumnus of Carlynton and the top player on the only WPIAL championship boys basketball team it has ever had, Mike Cozy is a lifelong resident of Crafton who makes his living as a math teacher at Carlynton High School.

Hard to imagine there's anyone more tied to the Cougars' program.

Now, there's no one more responsible for the success of it.

Cozy was hired as Carlynton's boys basketball coach early last month, replacing Kevin Trost, who resigned after two seasons.

Cozy, 42, is a 1998 Carlynton graduate.

"Basketball is what I've been doing the better part of my life in terms of my main interest," Cozy said. "I started playing in the elementary league for Crafton and Carnegie back in fourth grade. At that time Carlynton was doing well; they made the state final when I was in fifth grade.

"That was exciting, and they had a good bit of success all through the 80s and 90s and a lot of good players throughout the 2000s, so there's a good bit of tradition here. It's the sort of thing you want to continue, let the boys know they are part of something that's been going on for a long time."

This is Cozy's second stint in charge of the Cougars, having coached them for three years early last decade.

After leading Carlynton to the 1988 WPIAL title as its standout guard, Cozy played at Saint Vincent College.

He has been a teacher at Carlynton for the past 16 years. His first stint as boys basketball coach at the school was cut short after the birth of his third child.

"My family was getting to the point that it was a lot of work, so I decided to step away," Cozy said.

At that point, did he think he'd ever get back into the profession?

"Anybody who's had three young kids can tell you you don't think that far ahead," Cozy quipped. "You're so overwhelmed; you're just trying to get a good night's sleep."

Cozy hasn't been quite as overwhelmed in taking over a basketball program on short notice, but he is in something of a catch-up mode.

He has had some workouts with the players, but his hiring came too late in the offseason to join any summer leagues or anything too formal.

As much of a historian Cozy is on Carlynton boys basketball over the years, he has been remiss in keeping up with the team as much as he'd have liked since he had that third child and resigned from coaching. …

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