Honoring Lou Spiotti

Lou is a consummate example of class, integrity, and professionalism. His can-do demeanor, unwavering commitment to our student-athletes, and collaborative pursuit of excellence on and off the field is the backbone of RIT's outstanding intercollegiate athletic program.”

Sandra Johnson, senior vice president for Student Affairs

Lou with football uniformIn 1974, Lou Spiotti Jr. began a career at Rochester Institute of Technology that would transform the lives of student-athletes. Lou began work as the head football coach but was soon promoted to Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, a position he has held for the past 41 years.

Within his first few years leading RIT’s athletics program, he hired energetic coaches who would help RIT gain both local and national recognition. Lou worked tirelessly to grow the inherited fifteen teams to the current twenty-four teams comprised of more than 650 student-athletes. This strategic growth spawned unprecedented Division III success with 41 conference championships—including ten consecutive league titles by the men’s lacrosse program and women’s basketball playing in three straight NCAA Tournaments. Spiotti also led both hockey programs through a successful transition from Division III to Division I. In 2010, the men played their way to the NCAA “Frozen Four,” and soon thereafter, the women won back-to-back College Hockey America (CHA) conference championships in their first two seasons of Division I play.

Lou’s list of accomplishments is impressive. However, most remarkable is the message Spiotti has conveyed to his student-athletes about excelling in the classroom and becoming leaders in life. Under his leadership, the cumulative GPA of student-athletes has consistently been above the average of the entire student body, with nearly 50 Academic All-Americans and 250 Academic All-League selections. Spiotti has thrived on seeing the goodness student-athletes bring and has been a true advocate for them. He has approached every day with the goal of making the student-athlete experience outstanding.

Memories with Lou

Help Us Celebrate Lou’s Legacy

Lou shaking hands with studentRecognizing the incredible impact that Lou has had on RIT and his devotion to student leadership development, Dr. Fred W. Smith and his wife, Jo Anne—both longtime members of RIT’s community—made sure Lou’s legacy would live on for generations to come through the establishment of the Louis W. Spiotti Jr. Student Athlete Endowed Leadership Fund. The fund will support the development and celebration of student-athlete leaders and will be used (at the Athletic Director’s discretion) to provide leadership development programs, special events for student-athletes, and leadership awards. As Lou has done in person, this fund will champion the growth of RIT’s student-athletes and ensure that when they graduate, they have the tools and training to change the world.



If you would like more information about the Louis W. Spiotti Jr. Student Athlete Endowed Leadership Fund and how you can help honor Lou, please contact: