Eastern Kentucky hires Vols special teams coach Mark Elder as coach

The Eastern Kentucky Colonels have found their new coach.

Mark Zerof/Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee special teams coach Mark Elder has been named the new head coach at Eastern Kentucky.

On Tuesday morning, a source had told FOX Sports that school would make the move.

EKU athletic department spokesman Kevin Britton said Tuesday that the school will hold a news conference Thursday to introduce Elder, who’s in his third season as the Volunteers’ tight ends/special teams coach. Tennessee’s kickoff and punt return units rank 1 and 2 respectively in yardage nationally and have six touchdowns combined this season. The Vols also rank 15th in kickoff return defense.


It will be the first head coaching job for the Case Western Reserve graduate in a 15-year career with stops at seven schools including Michigan, Cincinnati, Central Michigan and Akron. 

Tennessee athletic department spokesman Ryan Robinson said Elder is planning to stay with the Volunteers through their bowl game. No. 23 Tennessee (8-4) faces No. 13 Northwestern (10-2) in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1 in Tampa, Florida.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.