Jeff Rosen '80
Jeff Rosen '80
Title: Class of 2008
Organization: Football

A two-sport standout at WPI, Jeff Rosen made his mark on Boynton Hill as arguably the greatest defensive back in the 119-year history of Engineers football.

Originally from Island Park, N.Y., the Brooklyn Tech graduate made an immediate impact on WPI football. Jeff stepped in as the starting free safety during the 1976 season and immediately rewrote theschool record book. He recorded six interceptions as a rookie, the most in school history. Jeff would hold the single-season standard for nearly 20 years. His strong performance helped WPI to wins against Coast Guard and Union.

"He was quick and fast," remarked assistant football and head track coach Merl Norcross. "As a defensiveback, he had a great sense for where the ball was. He also hit like a mule."

Jeff 's sophomore year brought more success. He swiped five more interceptions while leading the Engineers to rivalry victories over Coast Guard and RPI. It was at this time as he began to shine as both a kick and punt returner. During his junior season, opposing offensives began to get wise and avoided throwing in his direction. Rosen still contributed to the defensive effort with three recovered fumbles.

The 1979 season saw the Engineers match their highest win total in over a decade, including wins over Coast Guard, RPI, and Hamilton. Jeff tallied three interceptions for an impressive 14 in his career, the most in school history; it stood as the record until the early 1990s. He also did damage with his legs, averaging 24.6 yards per kickoff return, including a 98-yard touchdown in the season opener with Norwich.

"Jeff Rosen played in an era that didn't see defensive stats, such as tackles, widely recorded,"commented former WPI sports information director Steve Raczysnki. "He was, however, the hardest tackler I'd ever seen in a WPI uniform."

Jeff also enjoyed a tremendous amount of success on the track. He was a key sprinter for the indoor and outdoor track and field teams and earned five varsity letters. He and his teammates enjoyed particular success in the 4x100 relay.

"It was important to have a sprinter like Jeff," added Norcross. "We often counted on him to win sprint events-and he delivered. He made the transition between his two sports seem simple."

Jeff Rosen graduated from WPI with a degree in civil engineering. While on Boynton Hill, he was a member of Phi Kappa Theta fraternity. He is currently vice president of the Mechanical Division of J. F. White Contracting Company in Framingham.

Jeff and long-time girlfriend Donna Hajjar live in North Grafton. He has two children, Jason and Brittany, and is an active member of the New Hampshire Football Officials Association. He also serves as a trustee of the Adam J. Cirillo Scholarship Foundation for Brooklyn Tech.