MACON, Ga. – Mercer University announced the hiring of Roosevelt Lofton as the head track and field coach, Director of Athletics Jim Cole announced on Monday.
“We are thrilled to announce coach Lofton as our track & field head coach,” remarked Assistant AD John Peach. “Coach Lofton brings an impressive record of proven success to our program and our team is very excited about his arrival.”
Before joining the staff at The Citadel, Lofton spent three years as the Charleston Southern head men’s track and field coach. Lofton arrived at CSU in September 2013 with a stellar and extensive coaching resume.
Lofton has coached six Olympians, 11 USA National qualifiers, 14 NCAA national champions, 18 conference championship teams and 92 NCAA All-Americans, and five times has been honored as a conference coach of the year.
In his first season as head coach at Charleston Southern, Lofton helped mentor junior sprinter Braxton Drummond to indoor and outdoor first-team All-American status in the long jump. Drummond finished seventh in the NCAA Indoor Championship and fifth in the outdoor, earning the second-highest combined finish among the four athletes able to place in the top-eight in both events. Drummond set numerous Big South Conference records over the course of the year and leaped to a ninth-place showing at June’s USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships.
Drummond continued to shine during the indoor season of Roosevelt’s second year at CSU, in 2014-15. Drummond earned a spot in the USA Track & Field Championships and finished fifth in the long jump at the meet of the nation’s elite. He set yet another Big South Conference record in the long jump at January’s Virginia Tech Invitational, jumping 7.82 meters to best his own league mark by 0.11 meters.
Lofton came to Charleston Southern after a successful four-year run as head coach at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. He led Abilene Christian to two national championships and five Lone Star Conference championships during his tenure and was named NCAA Division II Indoor and Outdoor Coach of the Year in 2011.
Lofton directed Abilene Christian to the Division II men’s outdoor national title in 2011, marking the high point of a stretch where the Wildcats captured three consecutive Lone Star Conference championships. Abilene Christian also enjoyed great success in 2013, claiming the men’s and women’s indoor conference championships.
Lofton has also spent time at Virginia Tech, Northern Arizona and Grambling State. Lofton was the head women’s track and field coach at Virginia Tech from 1999-2001 and piloted the men’s and women’s programs at Grambling State from 1987-96.
Lofton led the women’s outdoor track program at Abilene Christian to three straight runner-up finishes in the Lone Star Conference from 2010-12. The Wildcats’ cross country program also flourished under his watch, claiming the Lone Star Conference championship in 2010.
While at Virginia Tech, Lofton’s teams excelled in that Atlantic 10 Conference, with the women’s program earning league titles in the 1998 and 2000 outdoor seasons, as well as the 1999 indoor season.
Lofton earned his Master’s of Science in sports administration from Grambling State in 1988 and won three conference titles during his nine years at the helm. He also has experience on the national scene, as he served as head men’s track and field coach for the United States Olympic Festival South Team in 1995 and was an assistant for the squad in 1993.
Lofton is certified as a Level I and II coach by USA Track and Field, Coaches Education Program in sprints, hurdles and relays. He is also a Certified Club Coach by USA Weightlifting and a Certified Performance Enhancement Specialist by National Academy of Sports Medicine.
A native of New York City, Lofton received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in communication from Temple University (1983). In 1988 he added a Master’s of Science Degree in Sports Administration from Grambling State University. Lofton has two children, Kamaren and Khristian.