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    Peter Lofthouse leaves Newport Harbor to become football coach at El Toro
    • January 13, 2024

    Peter Lofthouse has stepped down as the football head coach at Newport Harbor after six seasons and will become the head coach at El Toro.

    Lofthouse coached Newport Harbor to a CIF Southern Section championship and to two semifinals appearances.

    He is an alumnus of El Toro, where he played football when Mike Milner was the coach at the Lake Forest school.

    “I live in Lake Forest,” Lofthouse said Friday. “I’m  not a good golfer, but give me a bucket of balls and I could hit a driver from my driveway to the middle of the football field, although it would probably take 200 cuts to get one over there.”

    Lofthouse, 42, coached the Sailors to the CIF-SS Division 6 championship in 2021. Newport Harbor advanced to CIF-SS semifinals in 2019 and ’22. The Sailors were 3-6-1 in Lofthouse’s first season as head coach in 2018; they went 9-4 the following season.

    Newport Harbor this past season finished 5-6 overall and 3-2 in the Sunset League. The Sailors lost to Trabuco Hills 24-21 in the first round of the Division 4 playoffs.

    “This is an advantage for me and my family,” said Lofthouse, who is married and has a 7-year-old son. “And having played at El Toro for Mike Milner, and many of my former teammates live in this community, it’s going to be fun going back to my old stomping grounds.”

    Newport Harbor principal Sean Boulton wrote in an email: “Personally, and professionally, I am going to miss him, and will be rooting for him at El Toro High School.”

    El Toro recently concluded interviews for its next head coach and Lofhouse’s hiring could become official next week. Randall Reynoso resigned as El Toro’s coach in December.

    Boulton said in his email about Lofthouse: “Beyond the on field success, Coach Lofthouse had a profound understanding that football is more than just a game — it is a community. He recognized the interconnectedness of various elements, including cheer, marching band, dance, and our spirited TAR PIT student section, and fostered a sense of unity among these diverse components. This inclusive approach not only enhanced the overall football experience but also strengthened the bonds within the entire Newport Harbor High School community — students who traditionally never came to football games were all of a sudden showing up.

    “Additionally, Coach Lofthouse’s commitment to honoring the rich history of our football program is noteworthy. By dedicating the past two seasons to Tarball legends from the 1940s and embracing the “Long Gray Line,” he has reinforced the importance of tradition and instilled a sense of pride in our school’s heritage. The nod and acknowledgment of our incredible school/athletic/football history has been received well by players, staff, alumni and supporters.”

    — Dan Albano contributed to this report.


    ​ Orange County Register