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Tennessee assistant named EKU football coach

Fans invited to press conference on Thursday

RICHMOND, Ky. (Dec. 9, 2015) — Eastern Kentucky University will introduce new head football coach Mark Elder at a press conference at 2 p.m. on Thursday. Elder has served as the tight ends coach and special teams coordinator at the University of Tennessee since 2013.

Mark Elder
Mark Elder

The press conference will be held at O’Donnell Auditorium inside the Whitlock Building on the campus of EKU. Fans are invited to attend.

“I’m excited, blessed and honored for the opportunity to lead one of the most tradition rich programs in college football,” Elder said. “It didn’t take me long to realize that this is a special place. Lindsey and I look forward to becoming a part of the Richmond community.”

Elder is the 14th head coach in program history, taking over a team that went 6-5 this season and narrowly missed beating the University of Kentucky, before falling in overtime.

“I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Mark and his family to EKU,” EKU director of athletics Steve Lochmueller said. “Eastern Kentucky University football has a national championship tradition and I am confident Mark Elder is the coach that will bring excitement back to Colonel football and make EKU a factor again on the national stage.”

Over his past 11 seasons as an assistant coach, Elder has helped his teams reach nine bowl games and win four conference championships. In 2014 he was ranked as one of the top-50 recruiters in the nation. This season he was recognized as one of the top-25 recruiters in college football.

“It is humbling to have the opportunity to lead the same program that legendary coach Roy Kidd built into a national powerhouse,” said Elder.  “It’s important to me that we maintain the standards, both on and off the field, that coach Kidd established during his Hall of Fame career.”

Elder, a Cincinnati native, helped UT go 8-4 this season. The Volunteers are slated to play Northwestern in the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day.

He also coached at the University of Michigan, Central Michigan University and the University of Cincinnati.