John Lotz

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John Lotz
Sport(s) Basketball
Biographical details
Born (1935-07-17)July 17, 1935
Flushing, New York
Died May 5, 2001(2001-05-05) (aged 65)
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Playing career
? Baylor
? East Texas State
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1965–1973 North Carolina (Asst)
1973–1980 Florida
Head coaching record
Overall 83–88 (.485)
Accomplishments and honors
SEC Coach of the Year (1977)
FCA National Coach of the Year (1977)

John Lotz (July 17, 1935 – May 5, 2001) was an American college basketball player and coach. Lotz was best known as the head coach of the Florida Gators men's basketball team, and as a long-time assistant under coach Dean Smith of the North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball team.

Playing career[edit]

Lotz attended Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he played for the Baylor Bears basketball team. He later transferred to East Texas State College (now known as Texas A&M University–Commerce) in Commerce, Texas, where he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees.

Coaching career[edit]

He began his coaching career at high schools in Norwich and Massapequa, New York before moving up to the college level.

Lotz served as an assistant coach for the North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball team of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina under head coach Dean Smith from 1965 to 1973. During his eight seasons with Smith's Tar Heels, the team made four appearances in the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament.

Lotz became the head coach of the Florida Gators men's basketball team of the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, a position he held from 1973 to 1980. Lotz's 1976–1977 Gators finished 17–9 overall, and 10–8 and in fourth place in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), and he was recognized as the SEC Coach of the Year in 1977. He finished his seven-year tenure as the Florida Gators' head coach with an overall win-loss record of 83–88 and 46–66 in the SEC.

Life after basketball[edit]

After his coaching career ended in 1980, Lotz returned to Chapel Hill as an assistant athletic director at UNC and directed the University of North Carolina's community outreach program. He involved hundreds of North Carolina student-athletes in various volunteer projects, including the Thanksgiving food drive for underprivileged families, the Juvenile Diabetes Walkathon, and clothing collections for the needy. Lotz received the Governor's Award for Excellence for Crime Prevention in recognition of his work with youth in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

Lotz died in Chapel Hill on May 5, 2001, after a brief fight with a malignant brain tumor;[1] he was 64 years old. He was survived by his wife Vicki and their two daughters. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) inducted Lotz into its "Hall of Champions" in 2001.[2] In 2003, the FCA established its annual John Lotz Barnabas Award to "honor a basketball coach who best exhibits a commitment to Christ, integrity, encouragement to others and lives a balanced life"; past winners include John Wooden and Steve Alford.[3] The Chapel Hill Police Department named its summer basketball camp in Lotz's honor.

Head coaching record[edit]

Men's basketball[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Florida Gators (Southeastern Conference) (1973–1980)
1973–74 Florida 15–11 9–9 5th
1974–75 Florida 12–16 8–10 6th
1975–76 Florida 12–14 7–11 6th
1976–77 Florida 17–9 10–8 4th
1977–78 Florida 15–12 8–10 6th
1978–79 Florida 8–19 3–15 10th
1979–80 Florida 4–7[4] 1–3[4] [4]
Florida: 83–88 46–66[5]
Total: 83–88

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Anne Graham Lotz, Heaven: My Father's House, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee (2001). Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  2. ^ Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Hall of Champions. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  3. ^ Fellowship of Christian Athletes, FCA names McKay 2009 'Barnabas' award winner," (April 4, 2009). Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c Lotz was fired after the eleventh game of the 1979–1980 season. Assistant coach Ed Visscher finished the season as the Gators interim head with an overall record of 3–14 and a 1–13 record in the SEC.
  5. ^ 2009–10 Florida Gators Men's Basketball Media Guide, History, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 126–127, 132, 134 (2009). Retrieved February 12, 2011.


  • Koss, Bill, Pond Birds: Gator Basketball, The Whole Story From The Inside, Fast Break Press, Gainesville, Florida (1996). ISBN 978-0-8130-1523-1.