Tough Day-RIP Coach Lou Wacker

A large contingent of posters here are from Southwest Virginia and may have been familiar with Emory & Henry football coach Lou Wacker. Coach Wacker was my head coach from 1997-1999 at EHC. I didn't engage with him a ton- he was heavily focused on defense and some of the top offensive guys. But, he was a brilliant football mind and, despite a gruff exterior at times he had a very good heart and cared deeply about his players. Some of his theories on zone coverage were featured right next to a column by Bud Foster on pressure concepts in an AFCA book published in the 90s. To me, he was always a scary yet loveable old grumpy uncle with a funny lisp who could still be terrifying when I "accidentally" cut block one of his linebackers in practice. He hugged me on senior day, and he was magnificent to listen to talking about defensive concepts. He won a ton and had the dignity, respect, and love of his players. From this old number 60, who didn't do much to help anything, much love and rest in peace, Coach.

Here is EHC's eulogy:

Louis "Lou" Wacker, an Emory & Henry College Hall of Famer who won nearly 70 percent of his games as head football coach of the Wasps, has died at age 84. The Richmond, Va. native spent 23 seasons as the Wasps head coach, and previously spent 20-plus years on the coaching staff at Hampden-Sydney College. Wacker died of heart failure on Friday, February 15, his family said.

There will be a celebration of life on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 1 p.m. in Memorial Chapel on the campus of Emory & Henry College.

RELATED - Lou Wacker Obituary (Farris Funeral Service)

Inducted into the Emory & Henry Sports Hall of Fame in 2008, Wacker led Emory & Henry to an unprecedented 164 victories, 11 Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championships and five NCAA Division III playoff appearances.

Wacker came to Emory & Henry in 1982 after serving as an assistant coach at Hampden-Sydney College under the legendary J. Stokeley Fulton. Wacker was an outstanding football player in his own right at the University of Richmond before starting his football coaching career.

Under Wacker's leadership, 136 Wasps were named to the All-ODAC First Team, 36 earned All-America honors and five were chosen as ODAC Player of the Year. The 1987 Emory & Henry team reached the NCAA Division III semifinals while the Wasps of 1992 were among the final eight in the country.

Wacker managed an impressive 37-game home winning streak from the final game in 1991 until the end of the 1998 season, the longest in the country at the time.

At the time of his retirement, Wacker's 164 wins, 136 All-ODAC First-Teamers, 86 ODAC wins, 11 ODAC titles, five NCAA Division III playoff appearances, and five ODAC Coach of the Year honors were conference records.

In 2014, the College honored Wacker by naming the home grandstand "Lou Wacker Grandstand" in appreciation for his accomplishments and dedication to Emory & Henry.

Wacker is a member of five different Sports Halls of Fame including, Emory & Henry College, the University of Richmond, Hampden-Sydney College and Highland Springs High School. He was also inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. Watch his 2014 Virginia Sports Hall of Fame induction speech below:


Sorry for your loss Frenchie, hopeful that you and all those connected to this man have a support system on this difficult day. If not, I'm sure your fellow peers on this page have your back sir.


"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Thank you.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN Coach Wacker's Virginia Hall of Fame speech. If you are a fan of football (or love golf) it is a good listen. I wish SWVA had a writer like David Teel to commemorate him in SWVA.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

E&H football was always respected in SWVA as far back as I can remember, but Coach Wacker really turned E&H into a football powerhouse starting in the early 80's. Always admired how consistently they won. RIP Coach.

Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in bad humor.

Tough loss for sure. Condolences. He sounds like a great example of a coach being tough as nails but having real care for his players.

What a lovely tribute! To be remembered as someone who had a good heart and cared deeply for others — that's a worthy aspiration for us all. My condolences to you, to the E&H family, and to all whose lives were touched by Coach Wacker.

"Tajh Boyd over the middle . . . and it's caught for an interception! Michael Cole, lying flat on his back, ARE YOU KIDDING???"