Andy Kozar, who played on some of Gen. Robert Neyland's best teams at Tennessee, died Thursday at his home in Knoxville. He was 79.
One of the most dominant fullbacks in Tennessee history, Kozar was a member of the Vols' 1951 national championship team and was one of the stars of the 20-14 win over Texas the year before in the Cotton Bowl.
Kozar was much more than just a football player. In fact, one of the things that made him so special was that he was as accomplished as an academic as he was an athlete. He earned a Ph.D. from Michigan in 1961 and returned to Tennessee to become head of the men's Physical Education Program. He served in that role until 1974.
At that point, he turned his focus to teaching and was awarded the title of University Professor. Kozar remained a part of UT's Exercise Science Department for 25 years.
In 1978, Kozar was honored as an NCAA Silver Anniversary Award winner, presented to former athletes who have distinguished careers in other fields.
Honors continued to come his way as he was named to the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 1979, the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame in 2005.
In 2002, after six years of diligent research, Kozar’s dream of passing the knowledge of his legendary college football head coach to future generations became a reality. He authored the book "Football as a War Game -- The Annotated Journals of General R.R. Neyland.”
Kozar is survived by his wife, the former Marian V. Higgs of Toano, Va. She was a graduate student at UT when they met. They have three children: Mary Anne, Andrew Joseph Jr., and Amy Elizabeth.