Tarleton State head football coach has resigned to take an assistant coaching position at Texas Tech.
McElroy leaves Tarleton for Texas Tech
By BRAD KEITH
After five successful seasons as head football coach at Tarleton State, Sam McElroy has resigned to become defensive line coach at Texas Tech.
"It's a chance to go work at a great university for coach (Tommy) Tuberville, who has been extremely successful everywhere he's been and has done it with class," McElroy said.
Defensive coordinator Cary Fowler has been named interim head coach, according to Tarleton athletic director Lonn Reisman.
"I am confident our current staff can carry on with the high expectations of running the program until we name a full-time head coach," Reisman said. "With the timing of (McElroy's) departure, we want to make sure we move quickly to find the right coach to fill this high-profile position. We want the very best person for Tarleton State University."
McElroy, 45, guided the Texans to a 40-15 record from 2005-09, earning the highest winning percentage (.727) of any head coach in school history. The Texans were 33-13 in Lone Star Conference action during his tenure, including a 19-11 record in the LSC South.
Tarleton shared the LSC South title in 2006 and 2009. The 2009 team (10-3) also won a share of the LSC's league-wide championship for only the second time in school history, won 10 games for just the third time ever and picked up the program's second NCAA Division II playoff win in a 57-56 double-overtime thriller at rival Texas A&M-Kingsville.
McElroy, the 24th head football coach at Tarleton, was named American Football Coaches Association Region IV Coach of the Year for his team's accomplishments last fall. He was the LSC South Co-Coach of the Year in 2006.
During his time as head coach, 37 Tarleton players earned All-LSC first-team honors, 34 were second-team members and 29 received honorable-mention recognition.
"We've been successful at Tarleton and that's a direct result of great assistant coaches working with great football players," McElroy said. "When you combine talented players with coaches who care about them and demand a lot out of them you usually get positive results."
McElroy said leaving Tarleton was a difficult decision.
"You don't put five years of your life into a place and just walk away without it being difficult," McElroy said. "Tarleton is a very special place with an excellent administration, athletics department, faculty and students. It's a very difficult place to leave, but I feel at this time that the opportunity I have at Texas Tech is too good to pass up."
McElroy left his players with a positive message Tuesday afternoon.
"I told them to continue what they have been doing. They understand what it takes to succeed in this conference and to succeed as student-athletes," McElroy said. "I'm excited about what the future holds for them not just as players, but as men in general."
McElroy was defensive coordinator at Tarleton for three seasons from 2000-02, and was also assistant head coach during the last year of that stint. He then spent two seasons coaching defensive backs at North Texas before returning to Tarleton as head coach.
Before coming to Tarleton as an assistant, McElroy, a native of Corsicana, spent seven years as a defensive assistant and special teams coach at Sam Houston State. He previously had success in the high school ranks as head coach at Alto and T.K Gorman in Tyler, and has also served as an assistant at Navarro College and a graduate assistant at Baylor.
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(Some of these are repeats of earlier stories.)
Victor Valley College nose tackle Darnell Hicks is going to Texas A&M-Kingsville.
Monahan teammates Trevor Owens (DE) and Kevin Coldewey (OL) are expected to sign with LSC schools (Owens with Angelo State and Coldewey with Abilene Christian), while Odessa Permain QB Steven Pipes is headed to Tarleton State.
Lineman Garrett Sullivan (Deer Creek) is expected to sign with UCO.
Norman North - Brenden Brown (Safety) to East Central.
Austin Anderson HS - Stanley Kurunwune (TE) to Midwestern State, while Lloyd Black will go to Eastern New Mexico.
Broken Arrow HS - Jon Bullock (UCO), James Stephens (UCO), James Renfrow (NSU), and Steven Hopper (NSU).
Neville teammates Rico Pollard and Simeon Stevenson are headed to SOSU.
Grossmont - SS Jonathan Darby (SWO)
Wichita Falls Rider - Mark Strange to MSU, as well as Bowie kicker Seth Garza, Henrietta's Seth Crumpton, Rider's Rodney Gilliam and Burkburnett's Malachi Naef. Tarleton State picks up Muday RB Kenyin Thompson.
Earles, Strickland Earn College Honors
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Travis Earles and Sam Strickland of Texas A&M – Kingsville have been selected 2009 South Texas Collegiate Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively. The duo will be recognized at the Sixth Annual South Texas Winter Baseball Banquet on Thursday, February 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the Omni Bayfront Hotel in Corpus Christi.
Earles is a Houstonian and entering his senior season. In 2009, he led the Javelinas and tied for 13th in the Lone Star Conference with a .373 batting average. A transfer from Blinn Junior College, he also topped the team in at-bats (204), hits (76), RBIs (38), walks (29), OBP (.456) and multi-hit games (25). Playing at both third and short, Earles was the only player to start in all 55 Javelina games. He posted a team-best 16-game hitting streak from February 27 through March 21 and during the streak notched eight consecutive multi-hit games.
Strickland, also from Houston, led the Javelinas in ERA (5.15), wins (5), complete games (5), innings pitched (71.2) and strikeouts (82) to earn Second Team All-Lone Star Conference honors as a senior. Last year’s Pitcher of the Year recipient, Strickland had six quality starts and registered 10 or more strikeouts three times. On March 6, Strickland racked up a season-best 12 strikeouts over eight innings in a 5-3 win over Central Oklahoma. In June, Strickland was drafted in the 25th round by Toronto and pitched for the Blue Jays’ Gulf Coast League affiliate.