"Uncle Luke" named Hawkeye interim strength and conditioning coach

Former Iowa All-American joins Hawkeye wrestling staff

April 1, 2014 | 12:02 am

IOWA CITY - The former All-American 197-pound wrestler, affectionately referred to as "Uncle Luke" by his teammates for being slightly older than other wrestlers has rejoined the University of Iowa wrestling program in an official capacity. Iowa announced Thursday that Luke Lofthouse has been named interim strength and conditioning coach for the Hawkeyes.

Lofthouse replaced Danny Song, who left to explore opportunities near the East Coast, according to Iowa sports information department. Song, a native of Hauppauge, N.Y. and NCAA Division III Merchant Marine Academy, served his last day June 30 after taking over the position before the 2009-10 wrestling season.

Lofthouse has been a member of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club since graduating from Iowa in 2011. Lofthouse, who entered the Hawkeye program in 2004 as a freshman and served a two-year Mormon mission, finished his eligibility by placing fifth at the 2011 NCAA Championships in Philadelphia.

“This is a great opportunity for me and my family,” said Lofthouse. “I committed to this program a long time ago, and I’m thrilled to be able to continue that commitment in this new role. I want to thank the entire coaching staff for the opportunity. Iowa has a great history of wrestlers and coaches, and to say I’ve been on both sides is pretty exciting.”

Lofthouse is the second change to the Iowa staff this summer. Former Hawkeye All-American and Lisbon native Ryan Morningstar was named as an assistant, replacing Mike Zadick in June. The Hawkeyes placed third at the NCAA Championships and third at the Big Ten Championships in March.

Read the official news release below from UI:

LOFTHOUSE JOINS IOWA WRESTLING STAFF

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Former University of Iowa All-American Luke Lofthouse has joined the Iowa wrestling staff as interim strength and conditioning coach. The announcement was made today by UI head coach Tom Brands.

A 2011 All-American, Lofthouse first joined the Iowa wrestling program in 2004. He was a letterwinner during the 2004-05 season, earning the coaches’ appreciation award while competing at 174 pounds. He then took a two-year hiatus from the program to complete a Mormon mission to Africa from 2005-07.

Lofthouse returned to the program and redshirted in 2007-08 before making his way back to the mat in 2008-09, when he was again named the recipient of the coaches’ appreciation award. The following season he posted a 5-3 Big Ten dual record at 197 pounds while competing for the injured Chad Beatty.

In 2011, Lofthouse earned the starting spot at 197 pounds and went on to earn All-America honors by placing fifth at the 2011 NCAA Championships. That year he posted a 25-7 dual record, a runner-up finish at the Big Ten Championships, and was named the team’s most dedicated wrestler.

“This is a great opportunity for me and my family,” said Lofthouse. “I committed to this program a long time ago, and I’m thrilled to be able to continue that commitment in this new role. I want to thank the entire coaching staff for the opportunity. Iowa has a great history of wrestlers and coaches, and to say I’ve been on both sides is pretty exciting.”

A native of Avon, Utah, Lofthouse was a member of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club in 2012. He and his wife, Allison, currently reside in Coralville, Iowa. He is a 2011 graduate of the University of Iowa.

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