John Elders is in his 28th year as Cal State Fullerton's head cross country, women's indoor track and field and men's and women's outdoor track and field coach. His involvement in the Titans' program, however, dates to 1984 when he enrolled at CSF as a senior transfer and competed on both teams before serving as an assistant coach for three years before being promoted to the head job in 1988.
As Coach Elders enters his 28th season at the helm of each program, he continues to extend his streak as the longest tenured head coach in the history of Cal State Fullerton. Elders was tied with former fencing head coach Heizaburo Okawa (1982-2006) and former men's soccer coach Al Mistri (1981-2005) for 25 years of service at Fullerton.
The programs have shown steady progress under his direction. Quality over quantity has been the theme with numerous outstanding individual performers and even All-Americans coming out of the program.
Elders' goal is to provide a quality Division I program that challenges student-athletes to be their best on the track and in the classroom. He has helped produce national caliber athletes such as decathlete Brandon Campbell, pole vaulter Giovanni Lanaro, distance runner Heather Killeen, high and long jumper Matt Turner, high jumper Johnathan Golden and sprinter/hurdler Lauren Williams.
Elders earned his CSF degree in 1988 in computer science with a minor in mathematics. A resident of Orange County since his childhood, he graduated form Villa Park High School and also attended Santa Ana College. He is actively involved in Athletes in Action and has spent considerable time in leading clinics for coaches and youth in places as far away as Costa Rica. He and his wife, Nicole, a former Stanford volleyball player, have two young children.