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Originally published Monday, April 2, 2012 at 7:17 PM

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Motivational speaker, Pacific Institute founder Lou Tice dies at age 76

Lou Tice, who died Sunday, was a mentor to football coaches including Pete Carroll, Jim Lambright and Steve Sarkisian.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Lou Tice, founder of the Seattle-based Pacific Institute and self-help mentor to several generations of local coaches and athletes — including Jim Lambright, Pete Carroll and Steve Sarkisian — died Sunday after a brief illness. He was 76.

Tice, a Seattle native, was a football coach at Burien's Kennedy High School in 1971 when he started the Pacific Institute, a corporation specializing in leadership development. A news release from the Institute said Tice spent his final days challenging those around him to carry on with his life's work — educating and empowering individuals all around the globe to an ever-greater commitment toward making a better world.

As the Institute grew, expanding to offices around the world, Tice also became a trusted figure for legions of area athletes and coaches. Lambright, the former UW football coach, asked Tice to mentor his coaches before seasons, then went to work for Tice after being fired at UW. Current UW coach Steve Sarkisian also worked with Tice and in a post on his website called Tice "a great mentor and friend" and that "he served to motivate and bring out the best in others."

In 2002, Tice played a critical role in the formation of "A Better LA," a nonprofit foundation Carroll formed in Southern California while he was the USC football coach with the aim of reducing violence in the city.

"He's helped me figure out my approach and my philosophy," said Carroll, the Seahawks' coach since 2010. "He has done way more than that. He has been a global contributor for change."

Tice, often described as a motivator, was an incredibly skilled speaker.

"He has helped people change their ways, their culture, their attitudes about things in all different walks of life," Carroll said. "Always for the better, always to improve, to make more."

Tice was also a longtime owner of race horses, dating to the days at Longacres, the Renton racetrack that closed in 1992. Assessment, owned by the Tice family, won the 2009 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs in Auburn, the biggest horse race in the Northwest. Assessment was named Emerald Downs' Horse of the Meet for 2009 and was among the track's better horses the past two years, as well.

A news release said Tice died surrounded by his wife Diane and family and friends.

A memorial service celebrating his life is scheduled for April 13 at 10 a.m. at St. Edward's Catholic Church, 4212 S. Mead St., in Seattle.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or

Danny O'Neil and Scott Hanson of The Seattle Times staff contributed to this report.

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