Sam McElroy
Sam McElroy

Second Season

Alma Mater:
Texas State '85


Sam McElroy

Texas Tech defensive line coach Sam McElroy

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Transitioned to a non-coaching role that is TBD on Dec. 12, 2011

Sam McElroy begins his second season at Texas Tech where he is in charge of the defensive line.

McElroy, the head coach at Division II Tarleton State University for the last five seasons, joined the Red Raiders in February of 2010.

McElroy, who led the Texans to a 40-15 record over the last five seasons, directed Tarleton to Lone Star Conference South Division Co-Championships in 2006 and 2009 as well as a LSC Co-Championship in 2009. His 2009 team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs. He was named the AFCA Region IV Coach of the Year in 2009.

McElroy continued the winning tradition at Tarleton by bringing in both quality coaches and players to represent Tarleton in a positive manner. He has also continued to build on the traditions and ideals that have made Tarleton a winning program.

McElroy, the 24th coach in Texan football history and the 11th since the school became a senior college, has the highest winning percentage (.727) of a head coach in Tarleton history. As a member of the Texan staff as both a head and assistant coach, McElroy helped the Texans to a 65-25 record (.722).

In 2009, the Texans finished 10-3 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs for just the second time in school history.

In 2008, Tarleton finished 8-3 after starting the season winning the first five games for the second straight season. Tarleton's game with Angelo State - a 31-24 victory over the Rams - was broadcast on national television on CBS College Sports Network. Tarleton tied for third in the very competitive Lone Star Conference South Division.

The 2007 Texans finished 9-2 and was denied the school's third NCAA playoff appearance; however, the Texan head coach was named the Lone Star Conference South Division Co-Coach of the Year. The season included an overtime victory over NCAA Division I Football Subdivision member Stephen F. Austin.

Tarleton finished the 2006 season 6-4 overall and claimed a share of the LSC South Division championship after going 5-1 in the division. The Texans were just short of the playoffs that season as well. In 2005, McElroy lead the Texans to a 7-3 overall record and was one win short of a NCAA Division II playoff contest.

During his eight years on the Tarleton staff as both a head coach and a defensive coordinator, McElroy has seen 56 Texans earn First Team All-LSC honors, 34 second team honors and 29 honorable mention nods.

McElroy returned to Tarleton after spending two seasons as an assistant coach at North Texas, a NCAA Division I member of the Sun Belt Conference. Prior to his position at UNT, Tarleton's head coach spent three seasons as the defensive coordinator for the Texans. In 2002, he also held the position of assistant head coach at Tarleton.

In his two seasons at UNT, McElroy coached three first-team all-conference selections in safeties Craig Jones and Jonas Buckles (two-time honoree). He also helped in the development of Markeith Knowlton, who made the transition from safety to starting cornerback for the Mean Green. UNT made two consecutive appearances in the New Orleans Bowl, and the Mean Green went 9-4 in 2003 and 7-5 in 2004.

While at Tarleton the first time, McElroy guided a defense that improved each year under his direction. His last season with the Texans, his defense allowed opponents just 271 yards of offense and 17.1 points per game to rank second in the Lone Star Conference. Over his three seasons at Tarleton, McElroy helped 17 players earn all-conference recognition, including the league's Defensive Lineman and Defensive Back of the Year in 2002. The Texans won the Lone Star's North Division in 2002 with a 9-2 overall record, including a 4-1 record in conference games. In 2001, McElroy guided a strong defense that helped Tarleton State win its first-ever Lone Star Conference championship and advance to the NCAA Division II quarterfinals.

McElroy also served as activity director for the National Youth Sports Program (NYSP) summer camp, which is a month-long sports and education program that Tarleton offers to area youths.

McElroy, who has experience as a head coach at the high school level, came to Tarleton after working seven seasons as a defensive coach at Sam Houston State University.

During his seven years on the staff at SHSU, McElroy coached eight players who earned All-Southland Conference honors. In addition, he tutored the punt and kickoff return special teams.

McElroy started at SHSU after serving one season as head football coach and athletics director at Alto High School. That year he was named 1992 District 22-AA Coach of the Year after winning the district title and earning a state playoff berth.

In 1991, as head football coach and athletics director at T.K. Gorman High School in Tyler, McElroy produced a 10-3 record, won the district crown and reached the TAPPS Class AA state finals.

He also served as recruiting coordinator and secondary coach at Navarro Junior College in the spring of 1991 and was a graduate assistant coach at Baylor University in 1989 and 1990. McElroy, who assisted in the secondary, helped to direct a Baylor defensive unit that led the Southwest Conference in defense both seasons.

A native of Corsicana, McElroy coached as defensive end and freshman coach at Corsicana High School from 1986 to 1988. McElroy's freshman team won nine games in 1987.He was a student assistant and graduate assistant at Texas State University-San Marcos (then-Southwest Texas State University) from 1983 through 1985, with the Bobcats winning the Lone Star Conference title in 1983.

McElroy earned a bachelor's degree in education from Texas State in 1985 before receiving his master's degree from Baylor in 1990.

McElroy and his wife, Valerie, have three children, Sarah, Ryan and Madison.


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