David Elson begins his second season with the NM State football program as the
team's defensive coordinator.
In his first season as
the defensive coordinator at NM State, Elson guided three players to all-WAC
honors. Jeremy Harris earned first team
all-WAC honors while Trashaun Nixon and Davis Cazares were second team all-WAC
for their play on defense. Harris
totaled 56 total tackles, one tackle for a loss, one interception, a forced
fumble and a team-high 10 pass break-ups in 2012. Cazares led the team in tackles with 116
total, and Nixon led the team with 9.5 tackles for a loss. Cazares also led the WAC in tackles per game.
As a unit, the defense had 48 tackles for a loss, sacked the opposing
quarterback 11 times, intercepted four passes and forced nine fumbles. The defensive unit also made its presence
felt on special teams by blocking four kicks in 2012.
Elson most recently was the
defensive coordinator at Franklin-Simpson High School in Franklin, Ky., as he
helped the Wildcats to the Class 4A state championship game in 2011, while his
defense allowed 16.5 points per game.
In 2010, Elson was the Defensive
Quality Control Coordinator at Indiana University.
Elson served as head coach at
Western Kentucky for seven seasons, guiding the Hilltopper football team
through the transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision. WKU began the
move in 2007, and became a full-fledged FBS member in 2009.
Elson was named the school's head
football coach, March 5, 2003, after serving as defensive coordinator for WKU's
2002 NCAA I-AA national championship team. He replaced Jack Harbaugh, who
retired after 14 years at the helm of the program. He was the
longest-tenured assistant on Harbaugh's staff, working seven years on the Hill
with defensive backs, the last two as defensive coordinator.
At the time of his hiring, Elson
was the youngest head coach in Division I football. He won 39 games during his
seven seasons at the helm, and was part of 100 total victories over 14 seasons
on the Hilltopper staff. Prior to making the move the FBS, WKU advanced
to the NCAA 1-AA playoffs on six occasions - including a string of five
straight appearances from 2000-04.
While the Toppers became eligible
for the Sun Belt Conference Championship and a bowl berth beginning in 2009,
Elson experienced plenty of success in his 14 years at WKU. The
Hilltoppers finished with a winning record in 12 of those seasons, and claimed
the 2002 NCAA Division I-AA National Championship while winning Ohio Valley and
Gateway Football Conference titles in 2000 and 2002, respectively. Elson
was the defensive coordinator on the 2002 National Championship team.
WKU advanced to postseason play two more times after he was named head
Not only did the Hilltoppers
reach the top spot in the national polls twice during the 2005 season, they
posted top-15 finishes following both the 2003 and 2004 campaigns. That
included finishing seventh at the end of his initial season, after he matched
the legendary E.A. Diddle for the most victories by a WKU first-year head coach
after leading the Toppers to a 9-4 record while helping the Hilltoppers advance
to the quarterfinals of the NCAA playoffs. The following year, Elson was
a finalist for the 2005 Eddie Robinson national Coach of the Year Award after
guiding WKU to a 9-3 finish, including a 6-1 mark in the Gateway Football
Conference, despite losing 25 seniors from his first squad.
Although he started as a
defensive backs coach and served as defensive coordinator in 2001 and 2002
prior to his promotion, Elson has proven he can win relying on both sides of
the ball while building a solid special teams unit.
Prior to WKU, Elson served as a
graduate assistant coach in 1994 and 1995 at Southern Illinois while earning a
master's degree in education. He is a 1994 graduate of Butler, where he was a
three-year letter winner and started at strong safety his final two seasons.
The Bulldogs were conference champions in both his sophomore and junior years.
of Indianapolis, Elson and his wife Kathy have three daughters, Lauren, Jessica
The Elson File
Full Name: David Elson
Birthdate: August 26, 1971
Children: Lauren, Jessica and Maggie
Southern Illionis, 1995
Master in Education
Franklin-Simpson High School (2011)
Defensive Quality Control
Western Kentucky (2003-09)
Western Kentucky (1996-02)
Southern Illinois (1994-95)
1997 - Division I-AA Playoffs (WKU)
2000 - Division I-AA Playoffs (WKU)
2001 - Division I-AA Playoffs (WKU)
2002—I-AA National Championship (WKU)
2003—Division I-AA Playoffs (WKU)
2004 - Division I-AA Playoffs (WKU)