We were very sorry to learn Tuesday evening that former Duke assistant coach Lou Goetz has died of cancer.
Goetz was a Bill Foster assistant and was a key part of Duke’s resurgence in the 1970’s. Foster was a great coach but he was distant and often tense. Goetz was a much warmer personality. He was a very approachable guy. You could never prove this, but we think that if he had stayed in 1979, Duke would have managed the expectations of being pre-season #1 much better.
He didn't stay of course. A hot young assistant, he got his own program at 32 when Richmond hired him.
He stayed for three seasons and was turning the program around when he decided to get out of coaching. He had hired his high school coach as an assistant and Richmond gave him the job on an interim basis. But Dick Tarrant turned out to be a brilliant coach, and he had historic NCAA upsets over Auburn, Indiana, Georgia Tech and Syracuse.
Goetz ultimately ended up working in real estate and was quite successful. The main thing about him though, is that people loved him. And the reason they loved him is because he was innately decent and kind. He was one of the best people who ever passed through Duke and he’ll be missed by many.