Familiar face takes over Wright City girls hoops program

By Kelly Bowen, Staff Writer
Posted 7/5/24

Wright City has recently welcomed Dustin Elledge as the girls basketball coach for this upcoming season. Elledge was the Wildcats coach in the 2022-23 school year, until he left for one year to be …

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Familiar face takes over Wright City girls hoops program

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Wright City has recently welcomed Dustin Elledge as the girls basketball coach for this upcoming season. Elledge was the Wildcats coach in the 2022-23 school year, until he left for one year to be the athletic director at Van-Far High School. 

Elledge will be taking over for Doug Smith, who has recently retired from public education. He has made his return to be closer to home and his two kids, especially with his family expecting one more on the way. 

“I’m looking forward to getting back with the kids I taught and coached and back with the staff,” Elledge said. “There’s a lot of great people at Wright City, so I’m really looking forward to working with them all again.” 

In addition to coaching, Elledge will also be teaching agricultural science. 

Elledge plans on coming back to the team with a lot of similar coaching tactics and styles he had previously. However, he also noted that he has learned a lot from being a coach the first time, as well as an athletic director and will look to try some different things. 

“I want to build that culture back up to where it was,” Elledge said. “There’s been a lot of change in the head coaching role, so I don’t want to go in and change it all up again. I want to use a lot of stuff Coach [Doug] Smith did and the stuff I used before I left.” 

Elledge added that it will be beneficial for him to come in, since he already knows some of the players. 

“I was able to coach the current seniors when they were sophomores, so already having those relationships built, they already know my expectations and my drills,” Elledge said. 

Currently, Elledge is working on getting the team in the gym as much as they can throughout the summer. He will work on fine tuning their fundamentals, building the underclassmen up and getting the girls in the weight room. 

“We’re going to really strive to spend that time as a team and bond, especially with our younger classmen and older classmen,” Elledge said. 

The team has many goals for the upcoming season, including working on a better record. Since the program has started, the Wildcats have not been able to get past 10 wins. 

Last season, the team went 7-20 and lost in the first round of districts to Mexico High School.  

“Our goal is just to continue to get better and continue to build,” Elledge said. “We kind of plateau around the eight, nine mark in our record, so talking with the girls our goal is to exceed that a little bit.” 





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