Out of Bounds: Elson never sits still, ever

Kyle Hightower

He never sits still. He never stands still.

I even wonder if first-year Hilltopper football head coach David Elson can be still enough to go to the dentist. Even when he’s sitting he’s moving his hands or something.

Elson’s energy level is what drives him. His passions are what sustain. And ultimately, if this Topper team is to live up to the hype its dream season generated a year ago, it will need the fidgety guy that leads them to never change.

He fidgets so much, he doesn’t wear his whistle around his neck during practice. He can twist it with both hands. And he does, constantly.

Just about two hours before handing West Virginia Tech a 61-3 beating Saturday, Elson was covered in sweat. It wasn’t from the near perfect weather, however. It was because Elson decided to take a brisk jog around the Smith Stadium track. After a quick shower, he paced across the street to Downing University Center to welcome a handful of recruits who were visiting the Hill.

You can say that he was just doing the job of any head coach, and you’d be right. But there is something about the way this guy is doing it that is intriguing.

To me he seems to understand the situation. While he spoke to the potential Western recruits prior to Saturday’s game, his comments were strong, but not misleading.

He talked about being at Western for seven years, and being the guy who was always introducing the head coach, and about how strange and maybe a little apprehensive he felt this year. Taking the Western coaching job was a no-brainer for a coach with the work ethic of a coach like Elson. But following a Western icon like Jack Harbaugh had to at the least give him some reservations.

His charge and his challenge are like trying to eat spaghetti with a toothpick. He must uphold the prestige and luster of a program with a history of success while still managing to put his own signature on the program. Oh, and he might want to win a game or two.

It’s tough. It’s a grind. It’s all of those things and then some. But for Elson I’ll gander that it is the thing that makes him pace the sidelines like a nervous father and run around empty tracks before football games.

Though he’s just two games into his head coaching career, I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that no matter what happens in the future, we can always count on the energy to be there.

Kyle Hightower’s column appears on Tuesday and occasionally on Thursday. He can be reached at [email protected]