Lou Little

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Lou Little
refer to caption
Little in 1926
Personal information
Born:(1893-12-06)December 6, 1893
Leominster, Massachusetts
Died:May 28, 1979(1979-05-28) (aged 85)
Delray Beach, Florida
Career information
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
Military career
AllegianceUnited States United States
Service/branchUnited States Army seal U.S. Army
Years of service1917–1918
RankUS-O3 insignia.svg Captain
Unit6th Infantry Division.svg 6th Infantry Division
Battles/warsWorld War I
Meuse-Argonne Offensive

Luigi "Lou Little" Piccolo (December 6, 1893 – May 28, 1979) was an American football player and coach born in Leominster, Massachusetts. After Lou's birth, his father, or perhaps Lou himself, changed his family name to "Little", translating the Italian family name.[1][2] He served as the head coach at Georgetown College, now Georgetown University, from 1924 to 1929 and at Columbia University from 1930 to 1956, compiling a career college football record of 151–128–13. Little played college football as a tackle at the University of Pennsylvania for the 1916 and 1919 seasons and then with the professional football team the Frankford Yellow Jackets from 1920 to 1923. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1960. He appeared as Lu Libble in Jack Kerouac's novel Maggie Cassidy, a fictionalized account of Kerouac's early life.

Playing career and military service[edit]

Little, who graduated from Worcester Academy, played college football at the University of Pennsylvania. Little gained national attention as a varsity tackle during 1916 season and was named All-American, and again in the 1919 season. Between those years, he served with distinction during World War I with the American Expeditionary Forces in France. Commissioned as a lieutenant, he was promoted to a captain in the 6th Infantry Division. He saw action in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

Coaching career[edit]

In 1924, Little accepted the post of head football coach at Georgetown and held the position until 1930, when he resigned to become head football coach at Columbia University. Little was the head coach at Columbia from 1930 to 1956. He was probably best known for two wins: the 1934 Rose Bowl when Columbia beat Stanford, 7–0, and a 21–20 win over Army in 1947 in which the Columbia Lions handed the Cadets their first loss since the 1943 season finale, snapping a 23-game undefeated streak. At Columbia, Little coached future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Sid Luckman and writer Jack Kerouac, who broke his leg playing in 1940. Other players he coached include Paul Governali, Lou Kusserow, Cliff Montgomery and Bill Swiacki.[3][2]

Personal life[edit]

Little was married to Loretta Donohue for 50 years. Following his 1956 retirement they lived in Barnstable, Massachusetts and Delray Beach, Florida until her death in 1977. Little died at a nursing home in Delray Beach, Florida on May 28, 1979, at the age of 85.[1]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs AP#
Georgetown Blue and Gray / Hoyas (Independent) (1924–1929)
1924 Georgetown 4–4
1925 Georgetown 9–1
1926 Georgetown 7–2–1
1927 Georgetown 8–1
1928 Georgetown 8–2
1929 Georgetown 5–2–2
Georgetown: 41–12–3
Columbia Lions (Independent) (1930–1955)
1930 Columbia 5–4
1931 Columbia 7–1–1
1932 Columbia 7–1–1
1933 Columbia 8–1 W Rose
1934 Columbia 7–1
1935 Columbia 4–4–1
1936 Columbia 5–3
1937 Columbia 2–5–2
1938 Columbia 3–6
1939 Columbia 2–4–2
1940 Columbia 5–2–2 20
1941 Columbia 3–5
1942 Columbia 3–6
1943 Columbia 0–8
1944 Columbia 2–6
1945 Columbia 8–1 20
1946 Columbia 6–3
1947 Columbia 7–2 20
1948 Columbia 4–5
1949 Columbia 2–7
1950 Columbia 4–5
1951 Columbia 5–3
1952 Columbia 2–6–1
1953 Columbia 4–5
1954 Columbia 1–8
1955 Columbia 1–8
Columbia Lions (Ivy League) (1956)
1956 Columbia 3–6 2–5 T–6th
Columbia: 110–116–10 2–5
Total: 151–128–13

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Wallace, William N. (May 30, 1979). "Lou Little, Columbia's Rose Bowl Coach, Dead at 85; Took Over Team in 1930" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved October 11, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Oberweger, Alex (September 20, 2017). "Who Was Lou Little?". Columbia Athletics, Football. Columbia University. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
  3. ^ "Hall of Fam, Lou Little". National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, Inc. Retrieved May 11, 2020.

External links[edit]