A former college and NFL player considered by his peers as one of the finest college football coaches of his time.
Born Luigi Piccolo on December 6, 1893 in New York, New York, Lou Little played football before becoming one of the finest college coaches of his time.
In his playing days, Little played tackle for one year at Vermont before transferring to Pennsylvania in 1916. His game was interrupted by service in World War I, but he returned to Penn in 1919. After college, Little played two seasons in the NFL’s Buffalo All-Americans.
Little then began coaching, a calling at which he excelled. He was named head coach at Georgetown University in 1924, compiling a 39-12-4 record during his six seasons there.
In 1930, Little moved to Columbia University, where he spent most of his career. He enjoyed seven successful seasons at the outset, winning 43 games, losing five and tying three. In 1933, Little led his team to a Rose Bowl victory, upsetting Stanford.
Little was best known for developing a long string of quarterbacks, such as Cliff Montgomery, Mitch Price and Sid Luckman. His skill and instinct as a football coach earned him the accolade “Coach of the Era” from Scripps-Howard Newspapers.
Little died in 1979 and was elected to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1984.