Sept. 24, 2015
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University football program and Columbia University will begin a 10-year football series on Saturday, September 26. The Hoyas and Lions will honor College Football Hall of Fame Head Coach Lou Little, who coached both programs, with the establishment of the Lou Little Trophy. The trophy will be awarded to the winner of the annual football contest and stay with the winner until the following year’s contest.
Lou Little arrived on the Hilltop in 1924 and helped bring Georgetown football into the modern era. Little recorded a 41-12-3 record over six seasons, while also serving as athletics director. His .759 win percentage is still the highest among GU head coaches who have coached more than 20 games on the Hilltop. Little took over at Columbia in 1930 and continued his Hall of Fame career until 1956. At Columbia, he posted 110 victories. Overall his teams won 149 games, lost 122 and tied 11.
“As head football coach and athletic director, Lou Little brought with him a winning spirit and commitment to sportsmanship that we emulate to this day,” Georgetown Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Lee Reed said. “It is fitting that we honor and remember him in this annual gridiron competition between the two schools.” “We are thrilled to be able to honor Lou Little and our alumni that played for him with the establishment of the Lou Little Trophy,” said Peter Pilling, Columbia’s Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education. “This will add another element of pride to what we hope will be an outstanding series of football games.”
At Georgetown Little coached three All-Americans, including Harry Connaughton, Claude Grigsby and Jim Mooney, each of whom were inducted into the Georgetown Athletics Hall of Fame in 1953. Mooney, a two-time All-American, who captained Little’s last team at Georgetown in 1929, lost his life during World War II. Little later extended a scholarship offer to his son, Jim, who played at Columbia from 1953-55.
Little was elected president of the American Football Coaches Association and played a key role on college football’s Rules Committee. Four of his players — Paul Governali, Sid Luckman, Cliff Montgomery and Bill Swiacki — were elected to the College Football Foundation Hall of Fame, and he soon joined them.
He was one of the best-known figures in New York City, found most nights in one or another of the city’s famed nightspots, swapping stories with mayors, sports figures and entertainers. He was justly famous for his wardrobe, especially his shoes, of which it was said that he owned a different one for every day of the year.
Brian Hanlon, of Hanlon Sculpture Studios, was charged with creating the die-cast sculpture trophy, and capturing the famed coach’s likeness. The trophy was paid for by the generous contributions of Coach Little’s former players from both Columbia and Georgetown.