DON ELSER (Deceased)
Inducted: May 2, 1982 in Merrillville, IN (Posthumously)
Date of Birth: August 4, 1913 in Gary, IN
High School: Gary Horace Mann Graduated: 1931
High School Honors: Numerous records in track; state record in shot put in 1931; All-State in football and basketball; 4 letters in basketball; total of 12 letters from participating in football, basketball, and track; baseball captain 1928; football and basketball captain 1930.
College Attended: University of Notre Dame Graduated: 1936
University of Wisconsin MS
College Honors: 7 Monograms in football (3), basketball (3), and track (1); set 23 shot put records; graduated Cum Laude; Honorable Mention All-American in football; played in 1936 Chicago Tribune All-Star Football Game, tying the Detroit Lions, 7-7.
Professional Athletic Background: Played professional ball one year with Boston Shamrocks 1937; also played professional basketball with the Gary Ingots while coaching and teaching physical education at Horace Mann.
Coaching Experience: Was athletic director and assistant football coach 1937-1940 at St. Benedict's College, KS, with a record of 7-1-1; won Conference Championship; began coaching at Horace Mann in 1941; resumed coaching at Horace Mann in football, freshman basketball and track; team won conference titles 1958, 1961 in football; overall Horace Mann coaching record 107-104-11; also served as track coach from 1959 until his death.
Special Recognition: Entered service in 1942 for 4 1/2 years with US Navy, serving as an officer on an aircraft carrier; played guard on an undefeated Navy Pre-Flight team; left Navy as a lieutenant; served as a Big Ten basketball and football official, retiring in 1968 after 20 years service to become an observer of officials for the Big Ten; was an umpire for annual College All-Star game in Soldier Field for 10 years; umpired the 1958 Rose Bowl Game; received Official of the Year Award by Knute Rockne Club of Kansas City, KS, 1958; elected to Gary Hall of Fame 1967.
Family: Wife (deceased); daughters, Elizabeth and Donna; granddaughter, Faith.
Coach Elser passed away October 18, 1968.