Lofton on the Green Bay Packers
|No. 80, 86, 22|
July 5, 1956|
Fort Ord, California
|High school:||Los Angeles (CA) Washington|
|NFL Draft:||1978 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
James David Lofton (born July 5, 1956) is a former American football player and coach. He is a former coach for the San Diego Chargers but is best known for his years in the National Football League as a wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers (1978–1986), Los Angeles Raiders (1987–1988), the Buffalo Bills (1989–1992), Los Angeles Rams (1993) and Philadelphia Eagles (1993). He was also the NCAA champion in the long jump in 1978 while attending Stanford University. Lofton was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003.
High school career
Lofton graduated from Stanford University. As a senior in 1977, Lofton received 57 passes for 1,010 yards (17.72 yards per reception average) with 14 touchdowns, and was an AP & NEA Second Team All-American selection. He was a member of Theta Delta Chi Fraternity.
Track and field
Lofton won the long jump at the 1978 NCAA Track and Field Championships with a wind-aided jump of 26 feet 11¾ inches. He won the long jump at the 1974 CIF California State Meet with a jump of 24 feet 3½ inches after placing sixth in this meet the year before. He was also a sprinter of note, with a best of 20.5 in the 200 meter. He has been an active participant in Masters track and field since 1997.
Lofton was drafted in the first round (sixth overall) of the 1978 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. He was named to the NFL Pro Bowl eight times (seven with the Packers, one with the Bills). He was also named to four All-Pro teams. He also played in three Super Bowls during his career with the Bills. Lofton was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003.
In his 16 NFL seasons, Lofton caught 764 passes for 14,004 yards and 75 touchdowns. He averaged 20 yards per catch or more in five seasons, leading the league in 1983 and 1984 with an average of 22.4 and 22 yards respectively. He also rushed 32 times for 246 yards and one touchdown.
Lofton is the first NFL player to record 14,000 yards receiving and was the second (one game after Drew Hill) to score a touchdown in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. During his nine seasons in Green Bay, Lofton played in seven Pro Bowls and left as the team's all-time leading receiver with 9,656 yards (since broken by Donald Driver). On the retirement of Steve Largent, Lofton became the NFL's active leader in receiving yards at the start of 1990, through to his retirement in 1993. In 1991, Lofton became the oldest player to record 1,000 receiving yards in a season (since broken by Jerry Rice). On October 21, of that same year, Lofton became the oldest player to record 200 yards receiving as well as 200 yards from scrimmage in a game (35 years, 108 days). He is also the 2nd oldest player to have 200+ all purpose yards in a game behind Mel Gray, (35 years, 204 days)
Lofton became the wide receiver coach for the San Diego Chargers in 2002 and continued that role until he was fired on January 22, 2008. Lofton was later announced as a candidate to become head coach for Oakland Raiders in 2007 but the job would later go to Lane Kiffin. In 2008, the Raiders hired him as their wide receivers coach. On January 13, 2009, Lofton was let go by the Oakland Raiders and replaced by Sanjay Lal.
Lofton served as a color analyst and sideline reporter for NFL coverage on Westwood One radio from 1999–2001. In 2009, he re-joined the network to team with Dave Sims and later Kevin Kugler on Sunday Night Football broadcasts. He moved to a television position on the NFL on CBS in 2017, replacing the departing Solomon Wilcots. During a broadcast on August 9th, 2018 Lofton was discussing wide receiver Jake Kumerow a wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers and inadvertently called Kumerow's Alma mater a "nowhere school" when in fact the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (aka RingU) is anything but a "nowhere school". UWW is often considered the "Harvard of the Midwest" The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater has many academic achievements as well as won six national championships in football, five in gymnastics, four in men's basketball, two in baseball, two in volleyball and one in women's golf. UWW is also the only University in the NCAA history to win the Men's football, basketball, and baseball championship all in the same academic school year.
Lofton and his wife, Beverly, have three children: David, Daniel, and Rachel. David is a football player who most recently played for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. Rachel was chosen to participate in the third season of television's Endurance Hawaii, where she took 6th place. Daniel is also a football player who received a scholarship to University of California, Berkeley but then transferred to the University of Hawaii after his freshman year. In 2009, Daniel transferred to Hardin–Simmons University in Abilene, Texas where he will play football as a wide receiver and run track as a sprinter. Rachel will be attending UCLA in the Fall of 2009. Lofton is also the godfather of former college teammate and NFL player Gordon Banks' children. Lofton's cousin, Kevin Bass, was a Major League Baseball player.
In October 1984, a dancer at the Marquee Club in Milwaukee accused James Lofton and his Packers teammate Eddie Lee Ivery of sexual assault. Lofton and Ivery asserted that the acts were consensual. Neither player ended up being charged in the incident due to a lack of evidence. Two years later, Lofton was charged with second-degree sexual assault following an incident in the stairwell of a Green Bay nightclub. He was found not guilty of that charge.
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