Coach McElroy has been a Gaucho since he saw his first Saddleback game in 1971 at Mission Viejo High School and witnessed Rudy Holmes return a punt for a touchdown. McElroy graduated from San Clemente High School in 1978 where he played football, wrestled and golfed. After playing football at Kansas State University for his freshman year, he found himself back at Saddleback College to play football. He started at wide receiver for the conference champs in 1979 and helped lead the Gauchos to a final national ranking of 3rd in the nation. He then transferred to California State University, Chico, where he received his Bachelor's degree in Physical Education in 1982 and finished his football career there. He completed two Masters degrees; one in Leadership and Human Behavior from USIU and one in Physical Education from Azusa Pacific University. He finished his educational pursuits by earning a Doctorate in Sport Leadership from Brigham Young University in 1990.
Since arriving at Saddleback, McElroy has accumulated an overall record of 142-68, advancing to bowl games for 13 straight seasons (2001-13). He was named the Region IV coach-of-the-year in 2004 and 2006, and has had 10 former players advance to the NFL. A total of 139 players have transferred to DI or DIAA (sub-division) programs during his tenure and 292 players have transferred to 4-year institutions. In addition, McElroy was named the National Coach-of-the-Year by the American Community College Football Coaches Association for 2015 when the Gauchos went 10-3 and played in the state championship game.
Coach McElroy started his coaching career as an assistant in 1983 at his alma mater, San Clemente High School. He coached there until 1987, when he accepted a prestigious coaching position from LaVell Edwards at Brigham Young University. At BYU, he served as the Head JV Coach and an offensive assistant under Norm Chow where the team went 19-7 and was WAC Champions in 1989. He then coached at Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington, and helped the team to their best record in over 15 years with a 6-3 record. After this brief stint up north, he coached one year at Capistrano Valley High School before landing the Head Coach position at San Clemente High School. He took over a program that had been winless in league for 6 years and turned the program into an annual playoff contender. He served as Head Coach there for seven seasons posting a 43-28-3 record and leading the Tritons to their first playoff appearance in 14 years (1993) and their first league championship in 17 years (1995).
In addition to his coaching duties, McElroy loves to teach and is very active in Physical Education. He wrote the curriculum for the surfing program at Saddleback and this extremely popular program has waiting lists each semester for the classes. He also coached the Saddleback Surf Team to the NSSA State Championships in 2002. He has also served as a professor in Physical Education at the Graduate level at Azusa Pacific University for over 12 years.
In addition to his coaching and teaching duties, he has been involved in other professional endeavors. He was Vice President for Boys and Mens Athletics for CAHPERD for 2000 & 2001. He authored a book entitled Coaching the No-Huddle Offense, produced six instructional videos for football, has presented at numerous clinics over the past 15 years and wrote the initiative to change the High School tiebreaker system in California in 1997. He believes strongly in teaching character to his athletes in helping them become not only better football players, but also better people.