By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer
THE HEALTH OF FORMER Eastern New Mexico University football coach Bud Elliott has significantly improvement since being hospitalized last week following a fall at home.
Elliott has been moved out of intensive care and into a private room at Lubbock Heart Hospital.
The Sept. 7 fall resulted in two broken bones in his lower left leg. Doctors were also concerned about low blood pressure.
“I’m getting stronger, but I’ve still got a ways to go,” the 73-year-old Elliott said Wednesday. “I fell and broke a couple of bones in my leg, and I had my lung collapse on me.
“My blood pressure is still low, and that’s something they’re still looking at.”
He said he’s trying to get some exercise, but the broken bones are making it hard.
“I try to rest and I try to exercise some,” he said. “They’ve had me sitting up in a chair, but it’s really hard because I can’t really put any pressure on that leg.”
Elliott was ENMU’s coach for 11 seasons before retiring at the end of the 2004 campaign. He spent 48 years as a head coach, the last 37 of those at the college level.
SATURDAY’S RELATIVELY EASY 28-0 Lone Star Conference crossover win at Southwestern Oklahoma may be just what the doctor ordered for the Greyhounds after losses by a combined 79-12 margin in their first two games.
Except for a short touchdown drive set up by an interception, the Hounds managed at least one first down on every possession. Meantime, the defense had little trouble containing the Bulldogs, holding Southwestern to 204 total yards.
“We had a really good week of practice,” said ENMU junior safety J.J. Ortiz, who was in on six tackles and had a pass breakup. “We could tell by watching film that they weren’t the caliber of the first two teams we played. We went in knowing we had to just take care of business.”
THE RETURN OF ALL-LSC South wide receiver Derrick Hunter from a knee injury made a significant difference. So, too, did the return of senior cornerback Corey White, who played only a few plays the previous week against Southeastern Oklahoma because of an ankle injury.
“It was nice to see Corey back out there roaming around,” ENMU coach Mark Ribaudo said.
As far as White going back to returning kicks, Ribaudo said that remains up in the air for the time being. “I don’t know if we’re ready to let him do that again,” he said.
RIBAUDO SAID FROM what he’s seen on film so far, Midwestern State, West Texas A&M and Texas A&M-Kingsville all look like “really good teams” in the South.
He doesn’t buy the idea that last week’s win should provide momentum for Saturday’s 6 p.m. crossover clash against East Central (1-2) at Blackwater Draw.
“East Central beat our butt last year (33-14 at Ada, Okla.), so we need to go in thinking that they’ve got our number,” Ribaudo said.