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Texas Tech Coaching Profiles :: Defensive Line Coach, Sam McElroy

Sam McElroy

Defensive Line Coach,
Sam McElroy

Title: Defensive Line Coach
Age: 47
Birthplace: Corsicana, TX
Undergraduate Degree: Education, Southwest Texas State
Graduate Degree: Education, Baylor University

Life Before Coaching: There really isn't much to McElroy's life before coaching. I somewhat get the feeling that McElroy tried to play at SWT (currently, Texas State) but became a student-assistant after his freshman year. Thus ending his playing career.

Prior Coaching Stops: There's a ton of stops for McElroy. Aside from becoming a student-assistant at SWT and graduating, McElroy was hired as an assistant coach at Corsicana High School. After a handful of years there, McElroy was then hired by Grant Teaff as a graduate assistant at Baylor (hence the masters degree). McElroy then coached one year at Navarro Community College as their defensive backs coach in the spring (1991), but from what I can gather, then moved on to T.K. Gorman High School where he was named head coach and went 10-3. In 1992 McElroy became the head coach at Alto High School and was named the District 22-AA Coach of the Year after leading Alto to a playoff birth. From 1993 through 1999 McElroy coached defensive backs at Sam Houston St. Prior to this, McElroy appeared to be a vagabond of sorts, not staying in one place for very long since graduating from SWT.

McElroy then landed the defensive coordinator position at Tarleton St. where he coached from 2002 through 2002. North Texas head coach Darrell Dickey then hired McElroy to coach defensive backs from 2003 through 2004.  McElroy finally took the head coaching position at Tarleton St. in 2005 until he was hired at Texas Tech. McElroy finished with a record of 29-11 at Tarleton St.

More after the jump.

Arrival at Texas Tech: I'll be honest, this is the one hire that had me scratching my head. I don't discount the success that McElroy had at Tarleton St. as it's not easy to win no matter where you coach, but McElroy really does seem to be a guy that's travelled quite a bit, but didn't put down any roots until he got to Tarleton St. Perhaps that's just the life of a coach, but McElroy moved around a lot.

The other strange thing about McElroy's hire is that he was named as the defensive line coach, but has zero coaching experience at the defensive line. In just about every stop, McElroy was the defensive backs coach and that seemed to be his calling card. Sure, McElroy oversaw the defense at North Texas, but aside from that stop, McElroy was mostly a defensive backs coach. When head coach Tommy Tuberville announced that former defensive line coach Charlie Sadler would retire, the main point of LAJ's Don Williams' article was that recruiting was a huge factor in all of the coaches that were hired:

"I can hire a lot of people that can put Xs and Os on the board,’’ Tuberville said. "We’re going to have recruiters here. Guys that enjoy recruiting, that No. 1 can evaluate, and that No. 2, can do a great job of representing Texas Tech and selling what we have here.

"There’s not one guy that I can say, ‘He’s a little bit weak in recruiting.’ That’s not going to happen with us. You have to have nine very good ones.’’

This hiring strikes me as odd. It's not that I think that McElroy is a bad or unqualified coach, but to summarize, McElroy has no prior connections with Tuberville, has no BCS coaching experience and has mainly spent his coaching career fostering smaller programs in and around the state of Texas.  I would think that McElroy might have a pretty good reputation around Texas since he has spent his entire career in Texas coaching football, but he's never recruited the caliber of players that a major college has recruited. McElroy has never coached the defensive line before.  Not to mention, Tuberville hired his former defensive line coach at Auburn, Don Dunn, to be the Director of High School Relations and Assistant Strength Coach. Dunn was out there for the taking as a defensive line coach, but for whatever reason hired McElroy.

If anyone has any dealings or knowledge about the type of coach McElroy is, I'd love to be enlightened. Of all of Tuberville's hirings, this seems to me to be the strangest of them and I'd love for someone to drop some knowledge on McElroy as a coach.