A certain aura of mystique surrounds ACU track and field. The program is a sort of family, filled with champions and Olympians alike. With the dawning of a new decade, a new era of track and field begins under first-year head coach Roosevelt Lofton.
Lofton is not a typical Wildcat track and field coach. As the 17th coach in program history, Lofton is only the second in the past seven decades with no prior ties to ACU. Only Jon Murray who coached the Wildcats in 2000 and from 2002-2005 has that distinction.
Along with his fresh perspective, Lofton also brings a successful NCAA Division I pedigree to Abilene. He served as the head coach at Grambling State University from 1987-1996, and he also coached Virginia Tech’s women’s team from 1999-2001. Lofton says the time he spent at the Division I level gave him experience that will translate into success at ACU.
“With the experience I have from Division I schools, I bring a different perspective on training,” Lofton said. “ACU is a Division II team, but they are not Division II caliber. They are more Divison I caliber.”
Before accepting the position at ACU, Lofton served as the CEO of Kinetic Sports in Arizona, where he also worked as a performance coach.
Lofton takes over one of the most dominating sports programs in collegiate history. In its November 1999 issue, Texas Monthly named ACU the “Texas Sports Dynasty of the Century” — impressive, considering the state’s rich football tradition. He also inherits a program that has won 57 national titles in track and field.
“It means a lot to be here. It’s a great program with a lot of tradition, legacy and great coaches and athletes,” Lofton said. “I am going to do the best I can to fulfill the athlete’s dreams and follow in the footsteps of the great coaches.”
Lofton’s first test as head coach will be Friday, when he takes the squads to the University of Houston for the Leonard Hilton Invitational. Lofton will truly be settled in when his family, including his two children, ages 6 and 11, arrive in the fall. Lofton said he is thrilled to be back in coaching — his “first love” — and he values the opportunity to participate in the rich tradition of ACU track and field.