Dave Blank, director of athletics at Elon University, announced the hiring of former OBU track standout Mark Elliston as the institution\'s head coach of the Phoenix women\'s indoor and outdoor track and field programs.
Elliston, who spent the last 17 years as the head indoor and outdoor track and field coach for both the men\'s and women\'s programs at Lock Haven University, replaces DeAnne Brooks, who resigned following this past season to pursue other interests after serving Elon for two years.
\"I am absolutely thrilled for this opportunity,\" said Elliston. \"I can hardly wait to begin. I am anxious to get to know the team and begin the process of pursuing a Southern Conference championship. I realize achieving that goal will take time, but that\'s what we will be working toward. I am thankful to (President) Leo Lambert, Dave Blank and the staff at Elon for this exciting opportunity.\"
The third head coach in the history of the Phoenix women\'s indoor and outdoor track and field programs, Elliston will lead Elon into its seventh campaign overall this year and fourth in the Southern Conference. Out of the 11 league institutions, the Phoenix finished sixth indoors and fifth
outdoors in the 2006 Southern Conference championships.
\"We are very pleased to welcome Mark Elliston as our head women\'s track and field coach,\" said Blank. \"He brings vast experience as a former decathlete and a very successful coach to our program. Mark, his wife Kelly and their sons, Luke and Logan, are great additions to the Elon community and the Phoenix family.\"
Altogether at Lock Haven, Elliston coached seven Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship teams and 30 NCAA-II All-Americans, including three national champions. He also served the Eagles as their head coach in men\'s and women\'s cross country for 11 years, guiding a pair of athletes to All-America status.
Elliston\'s squads have received academic team awards from the United States Track Coaches Association on seven occasions and from the United States Cross Country Coaches Association five times. The USTCA has honored 18 Lock Haven athletes with individual academic accolades while the USCCCA has recognized 13 Eagles during Elliston\'s tenure.
No stranger to honors himself, Elliston was named the PSAC and NCAA-II East Regional Coach of the Year in both women\'s indoor track and men\'s outdoor track and field in 2003. He was also dubbed the 1999 PSAC and NCAA-II East Regional Men\'s Coach of the Year.
Elliston earned his bachelor\'s degree in physical education at Oklahoma Baptist University in 1986 and his master\'s degree in health, physical education and recreation at The Citadel in 1989. The Shawnee, Okla., native became a three-time NAIA track and field All-American in the decathlon at Oklahoma Baptist, reaching national champion distinction in 1986.
Prior to coming to Lock Haven, Elliston assisted The Citadel coaching staff with the cross country and track and field programs for two years during his graduate school days.