David Elson will be Ball State's new defensive coordinator for the 2017 season.

Elson held the same role at Western Illinois in 2016 and at Southern Illinois the season before. From 2003 to 2009, he was the head coach at Western Kentucky and led the Hilltoppers in their transition from the Football Championship Series to the Football Bowl Subdivision.

David Elson timeline

1990-1993: Played safety for Butler

1994-1995: Graduate assistant, Southern Illinois

1996-2000: Defensive backs coach, Western Kentucky

2001-2002: Defensive coordinator, Western Kentucky

2003-2009: Head coach, Western Kentucky

2010: Assistant, Indiana

2012-2013: Defensive coordinator, New Mexico State

2014: Defensive backs coach, Southern Illinois

2015: Defensive coordinator, Southern Illinois

2016: Defensive coordinator, Western Illinois

At Ball State, Elson inherits a defense that will likely feature some fresh faces in 2017 — all three starting linebackers last year were seniors, and the Cardinals have six new defensive backs and six new linebackers joining the program next season.

RELATED: ‘Family atmosphere’ brings in strong recruiting class for Ball State football

The Cardinals, though, return redshirt senior defensive end Anthony Winbush (8.5 sacks) and junior defensive tackle Kevin Thurmon (4.5 sacks) so Elson won't be starting from scratch. Ball State finished second in the Mid-American conference with 31 sacks last season.

Elson has some local ties as well — the Indianapolis native played safety for Butler from 1990 to 1993 and in 2010 he joined former Ball State head coach Bill Lynch's staff at Indiana. Joey and Kevin Lynch, Lynch's sons, are currently on Mike Neu's staff at Ball State as the offensive coordinator and running backs coach, respectively.

The Cardinals open their season Sept. 2 at Illinois.