NEWBERRY — Head Coach Bryce Cooper has announced the hiring of Sam Lofts as an assistant coach.
“I’m very excited to join the program,” said Lofts. “It’s a program that’s headed in the right direction going forward. Bryce has done a very good job so far in the two years that he’s been here. He’s excited about what he’s looking to do for the program in the future. I’m very excited to add to that and be a part of it.”
While a student-athlete at Lander, Lofts assisted the girls soccer team at Greenwood High School. In the position, he organized and supervised structured practices throughout the week while teaching the fundamentals of soccer and sportsmanship.
During the 2017 season, Lofts was an intern for the Lander men’s soccer program while also competing for the Bearcats, observing day-to-day activities. He also helped organize game day operations and plan travel arrangements. Lofts also learned the foundations of budgeting, recruiting and player management. He put in 100 hours during the course of the internship.
Lofts had a successful career with Lander, helping the team tally a 41-11-5 record during his four years in Greenwood. He racked up several awards and honors in 2017: Lofts was named second team all-Southeast Region by the United Soccer Coaches, second team all-Peach Belt Conference, and earned a PBC Player of the Week award.
During the 2017 season he appeared in 20 matches, making 16 starts for the Bearcats. Lofts netted eight goals with five assists for 21 points. He recorded his first career hat trick in the 4-0 win over Francis Marion. Lander was ranked No. 17 at the time of their Southeast Regional championship appearance. The team went into double-overtime with the fourth-seeded Young Harris, where they dropped 3-2.
In the 2016 season, he appeared in 18 matches and made 16 starts. Lofts led the team with 28 points, a team-high 12 goals and four assists. He netted two goals and tied his career high with seven shots in 4-0 victory over UNC Pembroke in Peach Belt Conference Tournament quarterfinals.
Lofts graduated from Lander in December of 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science. While on the team, he maintained a 3.41 GPA and made the President’s and Dean’s Lists. He holds the USSF D, E and F License. Lofts is also a Certified Personal Trainer, receiving his certification in England. He has also totaled 100 internship hours at South Marston Gym.
“I’m excited to welcome Sam to our program and the Newberry family,” said Cooper. “Sam had a very successful playing career and has a bright coaching future ahead of him. Throughout the search process he showed good insights and analysis into our program, and has a maturity beyond his years. He should have an immediate impact on our players and be able to help us take that next step to compete for our first championship. We aspire to do what programs like Lander have done in recent years. I’m excited to work with him and look forward to having him aboard.”