A family that wrestles together, stays together
The Lofthouse’s are a family rich in a tradition of wrestling.
The Lofthouse name is one that anyone who follows wrestling would recognize. Luke Lofthouse is a volunteer coach for Utah Valley University, his nephew, Ethen Lofthouse is the assistant coach, and Ethen’s younger brother Raider, is on the team. This story goes back many years as this family has been wrestling long before they hit UVU.
Raider and Ethen were both four-time state champions in their weight while attending Mountain Crest High School, while Luke was a three-time state champion. Luke and Ethen both wrestled at Iowa, where they were both All Americans. Ethen was a two time All American and qualified for nationals all four years he wrestled for the Hawkeyes.
Wrestling is what the Lofthouse family does, and they do it at a high level. Raider is the youngest and is currently wrestling on the team, but the first to break the previous tradition of attending Iowa.
“(UVU) was just a good fit for me,” Raider said. “I liked where the program was headed. It all worked out for me because now I’ve got Ethen and Luke here. I was out at Iowa for a year before serving an LDS mission. After returning I decided to keep my options open and took a second look at UVU.”
Raider was the first of the three family members to come to UVU.
“Coming here is the best choice I’ve ever made.” Raider said confidently. “My goal is to be an All American. I see myself being (on the podium).”
Ethen, a recent graduate from Iowa, was quick to follow his brother to UVU, but unlike his brother, he’s coaching instead of wrestling. There are several reasons why he chose to come to UVU.
“The opportunity to progress a team, the excitement that’s out here, the potential these guys have is really big,” Ethen said.
Ethen sees the team going great places, and getting there in a hurry.
“In five, maybe three years, when we burst onto the national scene and guys know who we are, and they know UVU, that’s what drives me,” Ethen said. “It used to be competing but now it’s coaching. I’m a competitor, even though it’s them on the mat. But as a coach we do a lot to breed the success out of here.”
Luke was the last one to come to UVU, but he brings the same fire that his nephews clearly own. Luke was the strength and conditioning coach at Iowa for three years before packing his bags and moving to Utah.
“This is a different role, one I was looking for,” Luke said.
“Being a strength and conditioning coach there are regulations that limit what you can do with the athletes. I wanted to get back to wrestling. And I like the way the program is moving.”
Despite wrestling in the Big Ten Conference, which is the premier collegiate wrestling conference in America, the Lofthouse’s know that they can have a huge impact on how the nation views Utah wrestling, especially at UVU.
“There’s a lot of excitement about wrestling in general in the state of Utah,” Luke said. “There’s a lot of positive energy here in this program. Can I tell you exactly where it’s going? I can’t. Do I know it’s going in the right direction? Yes, I do. We’re finding people who really believe in themselves. You ask what’s the difference, there is it. A group a guys who really believe in themselves, guys who are tough.”
Lofthouse is a synonym for success, and they are bringing that winning fire to UVU; a program that continues to improve and get better. Having coaches like Luke and Ethen, along with wrestlers like Raider, will only help build steam in what’s becoming a wrestling program that is gaining national recognition.
My name is Adam Cichoski, I’m a junior at UVU studying Journalism. Sports is my passion, especially football. I’m originally from Las Vegas, Nevada. My plan after school is to pursue a job in sports journalism.