March 31, 2005
Jeff Mroz (Greensburg, Pa.) has been elected captain of the 2005 Yale Football Team by a player vote taken today at the Ray Tompkins House.
Mroz, who is in the class of 2005 but took a semester off from school and sat out the 2004 season, leads the Bulldogs in his senior season. He is the 128th captain heading into the 133rd year of football at Yale.
The 6-foot-5, 225-pound signal-caller has nine starts at quarterback after taking over for the injured Alvin Cowan in 2002. Mroz threw for 1,731 yards (7th best at Yale) and 14 touchdowns, including consecutive four-TD games against Columbia and Brown. In 2003 he was the holder for placekicks but threw just one pass, a 26-yard scoring play against Towson.
"It's a great honor to be the captain because of who elected me. I have a lot of respect for the guys on this team. They have done everything asked of them in the off-season, so representing them means that much more to me," said Mroz, who has showed a great work ethic while improving all facets of his game.
The former all-state quarterback at Greensburg Central High School worked at New Haven companies Winchester Capital and Soundview Capital last fall.
"When you are away from something you love for so long, it really hurts. It was very tough knowing I couldn't help the team last year, and I am very excited to get back on the field. I understand the game much better now that I have taken a year off and watched from a different view. Being away from the emotions of the game helps you understand things better. I am a much smarter football player than I was two years ago," said Mroz, whose brother, David, played the same position at Princeton.
Mroz is only the third Yale quarterback in 19 years to assume the captaincy.
"You have to be yourself. If my teammates can respect who I am, the position I play does not matter," said Mroz, who shares an apartment with last year's Yale captain, Rory Hennessey '05, who is currently preparing for the National Football League Draft. "Quarterback is naturally a leadership position."
Mroz is the first Bulldog football captain from the gridiron crazy Pittsburgh area since Don Lund in 1988.
"There are great expectations for quarterbacks coming from Western Pennsylvania. The people out there expect you to play and be a great one. Their standards are extremely high because the quality of football is so good," said the new Yale captain.
The Elis begin spring practices today at 4 p.m.
report filed by Steve Conn, Yale Assistant AD and Sports Publicity Director