Athletic Hall of Fame
John Loftin, Women’s Basketball Coach - 2011
John Loftin enjoyed an amazing run of success as a women’s basketball coach amassing 861 wins in a career that spanned 38 seasons, including 19 at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Loftin’s impact at SWOSU was spectacular and instant. His first team rolled to an unbeaten 34-0 season which included a 35-point thumping of Missouri Southern in the NAIA National Championship in 1982. The wins and championships kept on coming. NAIA titles followed in 1983, 1985, 1987 and 1990. All total, SWOSU made 14 appearances in the NAIA Tournament, including 10 Final Four Appearances, and one national runner-up in 1992.
Loftin won better than 83% of his games while leading SWOSU to a 499-99 record and was named Coach of the-Year 14 different times. Loftin coached 11 different first team NAIA All-Americans, including current SWOSU Hall of Famer’s Kelli Litsch, Anita Foster, Jackie Snodgrass and Valerie Fariss.
His teams were nearly flawless in their offensive execution and relentless in their defensive pressure. His game planning and preparation were copied by coaches around the region. He shared much authoring several basketball-related articles and visiting clinics and camps across Oklahoma and Texas as a guest speaker.
“I guess you could say the timing worked out just perfect,” Loftin said. “Women’s basketball was really starting to take hold and there was no place where it was played better than Southwestern. No doubt, it was the highlight of my coaching career. Southwestern holds a lot of special memories for me.”
Loftin hung up his coaching whistle in 2006 after successful stints as an assistant coach at Midland Junior College and later as the head girl’s coach for Midland High School. He and his wife, Patti, remained in Midland where Loftin enjoys playing the guitar in a country and old time Rock-and-Roll band.