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Originally published: 2014-03-25 11:20:57
Last modified: 2014-03-25 15:47:42

Elder to be head coach at Woodruff (S.C.) High School

by Steve Behr Sports Editor

When Woodruff (S.C.) High School athletic director Scott Lawson went looking for a new football coach, he wanted somebody who could relate with the Woodruff players, and know a little something about the spread offense.


Lawson found his man in former Appalachian State quarterback Trey Elder, who was named the new head football coach at Woodruff today.


Elder takes over a Woodruff program that finished 5-6 in its final season in Region III-3-A, but has seen a lot of success before that. Woodruff was the Region IV 3-A championship four times, the upper state 3A regional title three times and was runner-up for the state championship in another season.


Woodruff will move down to the Region I-2A during the 2014-16 seasons. Elder reminds Lawson of former Woodruff coach Brian Lane, who is leaving the school to coach at Duncan Byrnes, the alma mater of Lane and Elder


"He reminds us of coach Lane in the sense that he is a high quality person, a high energy person and is very people driven and relationship driven," Lawson said.


Elder, a former Mr. Football 2003 in South Carolina following his senior season at Duncan Byrnes High School, has been the receivers coach at Western Carolina since 2011. He replaces Brian Lane, another former Byrnes quarterback who is leaving to be the head football coach at Byrnes.


Woodruff was looking for a coach who would run the spread offense, which Lane brough to Woodruff. The middle schools and the youth football programs that feed into Woodruff already run the spread offense.


"That's what we've become," Lawson said. "Our football aoch meets with those folks and gives them the formations. We have not had anybody under center since 2008 when coach Lane in his first season."


Elder was 7-1 as a starter for Appalachian State between 2004-07. Elder came on in relief of Richie Williams in the semifinals of the 2005 Division I-AA playoffs to lead the Mountaineers to a 29-23 win over Furman. Elder tossed a touchdown pass on his first attempt in that game.


Elder is not a stranger to coaching in the prep ranks. He was the receivers coach at Byrnes in 2009 under former head coach Chris Miller. During that season, Byrnes receivers caught 284 passes for 4,655 yards and 60 touchdowns.


Elder returned to Appalachian State to coach receivers in 2010-11 under coach Jerry Moore, his college coach. Elder was hired by then-first year Western Carolina coach Mark Speir following the 2011 season.