Coach Lofton

Dwight Lofton was the head coach of the Forrest City Mustangs for over 30 years before he passed away this week. Lofton watches a Batesville Pioneer take a jump shot in 2010.

The state of Arkansas lost an icon in the coaching world last Thursday morning. Dwight Lofton was a staple of his community of Forest City for over 30 years. He brought the town a 5A boys basketball state title in 2018.

“It’s not real right now that I can’t pick up the phone and call him. I talked to him last week and he said he went down to the state tournament. He said his team struggle a little bit this year, but they were young. He was looking forward to next year.” That is what Melbourne’s head boys basketball coach, Scott Bowlin said about his friend.

Bowlin said Loft, as he called him, was a big golfer and was ready for the warmer weather so he could get back out on the course.

Bowlin, was a close friend with Lofton for a long time. Bowlin and Lofton knew each other for over 15 years before he passed away.

When Bowlin was at Greene County Tech, Forrest City and Lofton moved into the same conference. That is when they grew even closer. Lofton and Bowlin also worked a lot of camps together during the summertime.

“We had quite a few battles,” Bowlin said.” It was hard to stay mad at Lofton when he beat you because he was such a positive person,” Bowlin added.

Talking about Lofton’s impact, Bowlin said “he did a lot more for that community and that school than just be a basketball coach. He was a father figure to a lot of them and probably did a lot of things that no one will ever know about. He bought no telling how many pairs of shoes for kids.”

Bowlin said “If you look on social media, you see what kind of man he was, he was very well respected.”

Bowlin said Lofton was famous for helping and mentoring young coaches. “He was such a great ambassador to coaches.”

Lofton and Bowlin did not always talk about just basketball. “We would talk about the black and white situation in the United States. He had such a bright outlook on life,” Bowlin said.

Lofton’s biggest impression on Bowlin was “no matter what the situation is, no matter how bleak the situation is, there’s always going to be a silver lining to it. Find what good can come out of a bad situation.”

The thing Bowlin said he will remember Lofton for the most was the way he approached life. “He had an attitude that he was going to make a difference,” Bowlin said.

“He was what coaching is about; waking up every day, and go out and make a difference,” Bowlin finished with.

Lofton has sent a couple of players to Division 1 schools including Arkansas.

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