Joe Restic

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Joe Restic
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1926-07-21)July 21, 1926
Emeigh Run, Pennsylvania
Died December 8, 2011(2011-12-08) (aged 85)
Boston, Massachusetts
Alma mater Villanova
Playing career
1952–1953 Philadelphia Eagles
Position(s) End
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1956–1958 Brown (assistant)
1959–1961 Colgate (assistant)
1962–1967 Hamilton Tiger-Cats (assistant)
1968–1970 Hamilton Tiger-Cats
1971–1993 Harvard
Head coaching record
Overall 22–17–3 (CFL)
117–97–6 (college)
Accomplishments and honors
5 Ivy (1974–1975, 1982–1983, 1987)

Joseph William "Joe" Restic (July 21, 1926 – December 8, 2011) was an American gridiron football player and coach. He served as the head coach for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League (CFL) from 1968 to 1970 and as the head football coach at Harvard University from 1971 to 1993. He was known as a coaching innovator, devising a complex offense known as the multiflex while in Canada and taking it to Harvard.[1]

Playing career[edit]

Restic played college football at Saint Francis University[2] and Villanova University and graduated in 1952. He played two seasons as a end in the National Football League (NFL) for the Philadelphia Eagles. He played professional baseball in the Philadelphia Phillies' farm system.[3]

Coaching career[edit]

From 1956 to 1958, he served as an assistant coach at Brown University. He was an assistant coach at Colgate University from 1959 to 1961. He joined the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as an assistant coach and later offensive coordinator. In 1968, he became the fourth head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, replacing Ralph Sazio. As head coach, he posted a 22–17–3 record.

On January 5, 1971, he became the head coach of Harvard. He was head coach for 23 years amassing a record of 117–97–6. He led Harvard to five Ivy League championships. When he retired in 1993, the 23 years that he coached at Harvard was the longest tenure in the school's 124 year football history.[1]

Restic had a friendly rivalry with Yale coach Carmen Cozza who served as the Bulldogs coach for all of Restic's time at Harvard. During their period of the college football rivalry, known as The Game, Yale won 13 times to Harvard’s 10.[1]

Restic served as president of the American Football Coaches Association in 1988.

Multiflex offense[edit]

While coaching in Canada, Restic devised the multiflex offense, which encompassed numerous formations, blocking strategies and pass patterns, sometimes with shifts at the last moment. The idea was to confuse the opponents. Restic explained that it was designed to "create doubt in the best athletes." For example, he would line-up three receivers on one side of the field, and then have them sprint to the opposite side just before the snap.[1]

In 1979, a professor and former Harvard quarterback, Larry Brown, created a class titled Fundamentals of Multiflex Offense to explain the maneuvers of the strategy. Some of the students included the Crimson's defensive players.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Restic was one of ten children. His father, Louis, was a coal miner. Restic married Marian, known as Bea, who died in 2008. He had three children, his son Joe was a punter and safety for the Notre Dame in the 1970s. In his later years he lived in Milford, Massachusetts and died in Boston after several years of declining health.[1]

Head coaching record[edit]


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Harvard Crimson (Ivy League) (1971–1993)
1971 Harvard 5–4 4–3 4th
1972 Harvard 4–4–1 3–3–1 5th
1973 Harvard 7–2 5–2 T–2nd
1974 Harvard 7–2 6–1 T–1st
1975 Harvard 7–2 6–1 1st
1976 Harvard 6–3 4–3 T–3rd
1977 Harvard 4–5 4–3 T–3rd
1978 Harvard 4–4–1 2–4–1 T–5th
1979 Harvard 3–6 3–4 6th
1980 Harvard 7–3 4–3 T–3rd
1981 Harvard 5–4–1 4–2–1 T–3rd
1982 Harvard 7–3 5–2 T–1st
1983 Harvard 6–2–2 5–1–1 T–1st
1984 Harvard 5–4 5–2 T–2nd
1985 Harvard 7–3 5–2 T–2nd
1986 Harvard 3–7 3–4 5th
1987 Harvard 8–2 6–1 1st
1988 Harvard 2–8 2–5 T–7th
1989 Harvard 5–5 5–2 3rd
1990 Harvard 5–5 3–4 T–4th
1991 Harvard 4–5–1 4–3 T–3rd
1992 Harvard 3–7 3–4 5th
1993 Harvard 3–7 1–6 T–7th
Harvard: 117–97–6 92–65–4
Total: 117–97–6
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title


  1. ^ a b c d e f Richard Goldstein, Joe Restic, 85, an Innovator in Football at Harvard, Dies, The New York Times, December 11, 2011, accessed December 12, 2011.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Former Harvard coach Restic, 85, dies". Sports Network. December 10, 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2011.