Former Army football player Lt. Col. Mike McElrath has been named interim head coach of the Army sprint football team for the 2010 season.
McElrath takes the reins from Lt. Col. Mark West, who stepped down to serve a one-year tour of duty in Iraq. In his second season as head coach, West guided the Black Knights to a 6-1 record after the team fell to 2-5 in his first campaign.
A four-year starting defensive back (1989-92) and team captain as a senior, McElrath ended his time with the Black Knights as the program's all-time leading tackler with 436 total career hits, including an Army-best 282 solo stops. He is also tied for second all-time with 10 career interceptions, trailing only Heisman Trophy winner Glenn Davis (14). As a senior, McElrath made 157 tackles, a total that ranks third among Army's single-season leaders. McElrath was a First Team All-East Region selection from 1990-92, and received All-America honors following the 1992 season.
Now in his third stint at the Academy, McElrath will also continue his role as Associate Athletic Director for Operations in addition to his coaching duties. In his current position he is responsible for planning and synchronizing athletic events, competitions, and activities for 25 NCAA teams with USMA staff and West Point supporting agencies, while planning and executing game-day operations and coordinating team travel.
Before returning to West Point, McElrath served as a Battalion Operations Officer, Brigade Chief of Operations, and Division Plans Officer for the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood, Texas and Baghdad, Iraq from 2005-09. Throughout his four years, McElrath gained an increasing amount of responsibility within the Division, and was a member of a 10-person team responsible for planning and synchronizing combat operations for over 30,000 soldiers.
In his second stretch at West Point From 2002-04, McElrath was an assistant professor and Economics instructor in the Department of Social Sciences. As the department's economic counselor, McElrath mentored and managed schedules for 200 Economics majors, while teaching courses in economics and money and banking to 60 students per semester.
McElrath was a Company Commander at Fort Jackson, S.C. from 1998-2000, where he led, managed, and supervised a 240-person basic combat training company.
Upon graduation, McElrath spent four years with the 4th Infantry Division, culminating in a one-year span as Battalion Maintenance Officer. In that role, McElrath managed a $600,000 budget and directed repairs and services for a fleet of vehicles valued at more than $35 million.
An outstanding student, McElrath graduated in the top five percent of his class and was on the Dean's list for eight consecutive semesters. For his performance in the classroom, he was the recipient of the National Football Foundation, NACDA, NCAA, and CFA scholar-athlete awards.
McElrath (USMA '93) holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, and an M.B.A. from Duke University. He resides in New Windsor, N.Y. with his wife Jen, and their children Tom (12), Amber (10), and Tyler (8).