David Elson

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David Elson
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Defensive coordinator
Team Ball State
Conference Mid-American
Biographical details
Born Indianapolis, Indiana
Playing career
1990-1993 Butler
Position(s) Safety
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1994-1995 Southern Illinois (GA)
1996-2000 Western Kentucky (DB)
2001-2002 Western Kentucky (DC)
2003-2009 Western Kentucky
2010 Indiana (Asst.)
2012-2013 New Mexico State (DC)
2014 Southern Illinois (DB)
2015 Southern Illinois (DC)
2016 Western Illinois (DC)
2017–present Ball State (DC)
Head coaching record
Overall 39–44–0 (.470)

David Elson is an American football coach who is currently the defensive coordinator for Ball State University. Between 2003–2009 Elson was head coach of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers football program representing Western Kentucky University (WKU).[1][2] Elson oversaw the transition of WKU from a Football Championship Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-AA) to a Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A) program, the highest division in college football; in his final season, the Hilltoppers joined the Sun Belt.

Elson joined the Hilltoppers staff as a defensive backs coach in 1996. He served as defensive coordinator for the 2001 and 2002 season before he was promoted to head coach.[3] The rise to college football's highest level was difficult for the program, and Hilltoppers went 2-20 in Elson's final two seasons.

On November 9, 2009 Elson was fired by the university, finishing out the 2009 season. WKU alumnus and Stanford running backs coach Willie Taggart replaced him.[4]

In March 2010, Indiana University head football coach Bill Lynch announced that Elson will be a defensive quality control coach. Coach Lynch noted this would mainly be an administrative role, but that he would be involved in coaching decisions. The Hoosiers made their first road trip of the year to play Elson's former team, the WKU Hilltoppers in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Elson spent the 2011 football season as a high school assistant coach/defensive coordinator for KHSAA State Finalist Franklin-Simpson High School in Franklin, Kentucky.

On January 4, 2012, it was announced that Elson would become the defensive coordinator at New Mexico State University.[5]

On January 13, 2013, Elson was announced as the new secondary coach for the Southern Illinois Salukis where he as a grad assistant from 94-95.

On January 20, 2016, after 2 years at SIU, Elson accepted the position as defensive coordinator at Western Illinois under new head coach Charlie Fisher.

Personal life[edit]

Elson and his wife, Kathy, have three daughters.[6]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Rank#
WKU Hilltoppers (Gateway Football Conference) (2003–2006)
2003 WKU 9–4–0 5–2–0 T–3rd L NCAA Division I-AA Quarterfinal 8
2004 WKU 9–3–0 6–1–0 2nd L NCAA Division I-AA First Round 11
2005 WKU 6–5–0 4–3–0 T–4th
2006 WKU 6–5–0 4–3–0 T–4th
WKU Hilltoppers (FCS Independent) (2007)
2007 WKU 7–5–0
WKU Hilltoppers (FBS Independent) (2008)
2008 WKU 2–10–0
WKU Hilltoppers (Sun Belt Conference) (2009)
2009 WKU 0–12–0 0–8–0 9th
Total: 39–44–0
  • #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll (FCS/I-AA).