July 17, 1935|
Flushing, New York
|Died||May 5, 2001
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
|?||East Texas State|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1965–1973||North Carolina (Asst)|
|Head coaching record|
|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.
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.
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
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; 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. 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. The Chapel Hill Police Department named its summer basketball camp in Lotz's honor.
Head coaching record
|Florida Gators (Southeastern Conference) (1973–1980)|
National champion Postseason invitational champion
- Anne Graham Lotz, Heaven: My Father's House, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee (2001). Retrieved February 12, 2011.
- Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Hall of Champions. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
- Fellowship of Christian Athletes, FCA names McKay 2009 'Barnabas' award winner," (April 4, 2009). Retrieved February 12, 2011.
- 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.
- 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.