June 30, 2017, marked the end of an era at Elder High School as longtime athletic director Dave Dabbelt retired after spending 47 years at the institution as teacher, coach, and AD. But like all things at Elder, the school didn’t need to rebuild, it simply reloaded.
Kevin Espelage enters his 18th year at Elder as teacher, former baseball and football coach, and now as the school’s new athletic director, taking over the reins of an athletic program featuring 14 varsity sports that have found much success over the past 95 years. Serving as the assistant athletic director supporting Dabbelt for the past two years, Espelage looks forward to adding to what is already an outstanding school and athletic department, “Elder is a special place, and it has earned its reputation from the competitive teams on the field and from the countless number of loyal alumni and friends who follow and support the teams so closely.”
As a former football, baseball, and basketball player at Elder, Espelage knows a thing or two about what it takes to be a student-athlete at his alma mater, “We have a motto painted on the wall of our gym that reads ‘What I had I gave, What I saved I lost.’ Whether it be in the classroom, in-season, out-of-season, practices or games…our kids are giving all of their God-given talents. I have many ideas and goals and look forward to getting started.”
Espelage is a 1991 graduate of Elder. He and his wife Jill live in Miami Township with their two sons – Colin and Kenny – who attend St. Jude grade school in Bridgetown.