By Sam Bartee
ACU’s track and field program is well-established; it’s coach, however, is brand new. Roosevelt Lofton is in his first season as the Wildcats’ track and field head coach — only the second man in the past 71 years to do so with no prior affiliation with the university. During his career, Lofton has been voted conferenceCoach of the Year four times, and he has coached teams to eight conference championships. He has also coached 82 conference champions and three Olympians. A graduate of Temple University and former head coach at Grambling State and Virginia Tech, Lofton is ready to continue building his legacy in one of the nation’s top track and field programs.
ACU track and field has won 57 team national championships, including 52 at the NCAA Division II level. The men’s team has 35 national championships to its credit, (30 at the NCAA level), while the women’s team has won 22 NCAA Division II national titles. The programs have also combined to win 48 Lone Star Conference championships, including 16 in a row by the men’s team. ACU track and field athletes have competed in and won some of the most prestigious events around the globe, including the Olympics, World Championships, U.S. Championships, Penn Relays, Texas Relays, Drake Relays, Kansas Relays and Mt. SAC Relays.
Eyes are on Lofton and his athletes as they prepare for their first meet Jan. 15 at the Leonard Hilton Invitational in Houston.
“I don’t want to predict how the season is going to be, but I do know that we have two good teams competing here,” Lofton said.
It will not be an easy route to the final destination: the National Championship. With schools like St. Augustine, Adams State and Lincoln competing, Lofton predicts a rough road ahead, but he said he hopes with the assistance of a great staff and talented athletes, they will accomplish their goals for the season.