Friday, July 24, 2009

Day 58: Less was More

Matt Less Today

Matt Less '90 came to Columbia in 1987 from Arizona, after his family moved from Iowa just before his senior season in high school. The Less family's itinerance may have been the reason why the other Ivy schools missed him, because by the time Matt was done he had done a number on the Lion record book.

Less came along slowly at tight end, but finally started marking people notice his junior year when he became the favorite target for most of the many Columbia quarterbacks that season. He scored the first TD in the famous streak-ending win over Princeton in '88 on a nice reception in the second quarter. He finished that historic day with 7 catches for 70 yards.

But it was his senior year when Less ripped up so many standing Columbia records. First, he caught a Lion record 13 passes in a 24-21 loss to Penn in week 4. Then he went on to snag 61 catches for 707 yards and 6 TD's. That was good enough for 1st Team All Ivy honors despite playing for a 1-9 team.

Today, Less is one of many of his teammates who are or were high school head football coaches. Matt guided the Lake Forest Academy, (in a tony suburb of Chicago), squad for 12 years until stepping down last year. He still heads up the school's math department, proving scholarship and athletics still mix after an Ivy sports career.


At Fri Jul 24, 11:44:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly, the victory over Cornell in 1989 was the first win of the Ray Tellier era. Less was unstoppable that day in Ithaca. He was an outstanding athlete with size and speed. More like a wideout than a tight end. Congratulations, Jake, on another amazing write-up. I'm enjoying every profile. You're the best!

At Sat Jul 25, 12:04:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Less was a great tight end...following in the tradition of those who played the position before him...Danny Upperco, Mark Milam. A solid guy with a good head on his shoulders.

At Wed Jul 29, 11:06:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 1989 victory at Cornell was in fact the first win of the Ray Tellier era and the first road win for Columbia in 9 years. Matt Less was originally recuited and came to Columbia as a Quarterback. However, as then coach, Larry MacElreavey, said... "He's a big, strong, kid", and they needed to get him on the field. Tellier's genius was to come up with creative offensive sets to isolate Matt with one on one coverage. He was our only true weapon that season and he could take any linebacker in the league one on one. Beyond his achievements on the field, Matt was always a gentleman and a truely nice guy.


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