Ithaca College Mourns Loss of Cortaca Jug Co-Founder Richard Carmean ‘60

By Justin Lutes, June 3, 2022

The Ithaca College community has lost an icon as Richard “Dick” N. Carmean ’60 passed away in Rochester, N.Y. on May 23, 2022, at the age of 89. Carmean played football and track & field at IC and was the co-founder of the Cortaca Jug, which has grown to be recognized as one of the greatest rivalries in all of college sports.

In 1959, Carmean and Tom Decker, a captain for the Cortland football program who passed away in 2015, founded the jug and painted it blue, gold, red and white in honor of both schools’ colors. Decker purchased a $2 jug from a farmer at a yard sale in Homer, which became the first of three jugs awarded to the winner of the annual Cortaca Jug Game.

Heading into its 63rd installment, the Cortaca Jug has grown to be known as one of the most highly anticipated college football games in Division III and was once tabbed “the biggest little game in the nation.” The rivalry was on full display on November 16, 2019, as the Cortaca Jug ventured down to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. – Carmean’s home state – for the 61st Jug Game and drew an NCAA Division III record crowd of 45,161 fans.

The 63rd Jug Game, which is scheduled for November 12, 2022, will be played at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

Carmean was a standout two-sport athlete at IC and was inducted into the Ithaca Athletic Hall of Fame in 1973. He gained 612 yards in 119 carries as a running back for a 5.2 career yards per carry average. He also led the Bombers in touchdowns during his junior year with nine. In addition, Carmean was a talented defensive back and held the Bombers pass interception career record with nine until that record was broken in 1972. During his senior year, Carmean was named captain of the football team and was named a football all-American. He also once earned the team's Most Valuable Performer award. In track and field Carmean was an outstanding pole vaulter with 25 first place finishes in four seasons. He was twice named the track and field squad's Most Valuable Performer.

Carmean was born on March 8, 1933, in Lyndhurst, N.J. to Harry and Dena Carmean. He graduated high school from Lyndhurst HS in 1951. The day after he graduated high school he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Following his Honorable Discharge from the Navy in 1955, he was married to Mildred (McKeen) in January 1956. Following their wedding they moved to Ithaca, N.Y. where he enrolled at Ithaca College in their Physical Education program.

Immediately following his 1960 graduation from Ithaca College, Richard took a job as a physical education teacher at the new Ithaca High School. Richard went on to be the Department Head for Physical Education as well as a long tenure as the school's Director of Athletics. It is at Ithaca High School as a teacher, coach and administrator that he made his impact in education and on the young people with whom he so passionately worked.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years Mildred Carmean and his four children: Richard, June (Eichas), Nancy (Merrick) and Thomas. He is also survived by his seven grandchildren: Krystral Eichas, Michelle Eichas, James Eichas, Chad Merrick, Nicholas Carmean, Ashley Carmean and Kailey Carmean as well as his three great-grandchildren Maximus and Alexander Eichas, and Luca Carmean.

A memorial service is scheduled for Monday, June 6th at 1:00 pm at Christ Chapel, 160 Graham Road, Ithaca. Pastor Steve Felker will officiate. Reception will follow at the same location. Arrangements have been entrusted to Bangs Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made at