Eastern Kentucky University had just one head football coach for more than four decades.

Roy Kidd's legendary career spanned from 1964 to 2002 and resulted in 314 victories and two national championships.

In the 17 years since his retirement, three coaches have guided the program that Kidd built.

And in the near future, another name will be added to that list.

On Monday, EKU officials announced in a press release that Mark Elder would not return to the school after four seasons.

He had a 21-24 record in four seasons, including a 15-16 mark against Ohio Valley Conference opponents.

The Colonels (7-5, 5-3 OVC) wrapped up the season with a 29-23 win over Jacksonville State on Saturday in Jacksonville, Ala.

"On behalf of the university and athletics department, I want to thank Mark for his hard work, diligent effort and contributions to EKU football," EKU's interim Director of Athletics Mark Sandy said in the release. "We all wish Mark and his family nothing but the best."

A short press release was issued by the school on Monday afternoon following several published reports that the school had parted ways with Elder.

The release stated that the search for a new coach would begin immediately, but did not offer many more details, like whether any of the current staff would be retained.

Elder's contract is set to expire in December.

The Colonels finished fourth in the OVC this season. EKU's three conference losses were by a combined 24 points, including an overtime loss.

The Colonels had second-half leads in every conference game this season.

EKU still finished with seven wins for the second-straight year, which had not happened since 2011-12.

The decision to move on from Elder comes at an interesting juncture for EKU.

The school has an interim AD -- Mark Sandy -- after Stephen Lochmueller resigned last month.

And the early signing period for 2020 football recruiting closes on Dec. 20.

EKU already had commitments from several high school seniors.

The Colonels graduated 19 seniors this season, but were scheduled to bring back 22 juniors from this year's team, many of which were starters.

In the years since Kidd's retirement, EKU has certainly slipped from national prominence.

The Colonels haven't earned a spot in the Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs since 2014 and haven't won an OVC title since 2011.

EKU's last playoff win was in 1994.

React to this story:


Recommended for you