October 28, 1999

San Francisco '49ers Quarterback
Has Ties To Manhattan, KSU

Bruce Laughlin
Contributing Writer
Perhaps the reason Jeff Garcia, backup/starting quarterback of the San
Francisco ’49ers, looks a bit different than some might expect is that he
is the grandson of Maurice “Red” Elder, Kansas State Aggies football star
of the ’30s. Red Elder and his older brother were Kansas farm boys from
Mayfield, near Wellington whose parents moved to Manhattan in 1937 when Red
was twelve. His dad ran the White Eagle (now Sinclair) filling station
located on the northeast corner of 17th & Poyntz. The family also lived on
that street in a house since destroyed in favor of a parking lot. The boys
worked hard in the station and were destined to attend Kansas State after
Manhattan High.
Red calls his high school career undistinguished, but does remember a
Junction City player stomping on a finger which remains gnarled today.
Recent K-State players are better known, but it should be noted that Red
Elder was “All Big Six” fullback in 1934 - 1935 - 1936 and played in the
East West Shrine game. His less athletic but more academic brother was a
K-State engineer headed for a long career as a commercial airline pilot.
Red dated and married Rosethel Grimes, daughter of the head of the Ag.
Econ. Department. His major was physical education and he became backfield
coach for Harry Hughes at Colorado A&M, now Colorado State. He was in the
Navy as a P.E. instructor for flying cadets from 1942 to 1945 and head
coach at Pueblo Junior College 4 years. From a stint in Nevada, he was
lured to Gilroy, California high school (near San Jose) by his old college
teammate Art Baxter. He had outstanding success as head football coach from
1957 to 1965. After the death of his first wife, Red married Fleta Mains 29
years ago. He remains vigorous in health, voice, and mind in spite of two
cancer operations..
Jeff Garcia, son of Linda Elder Garcia, was a basketball and football star
in Gilroy where his father, Bobby, was athletic director and football coach
at Gavilan College. Jeff played for his dad for two years before moving on
to All-American fame at San Jose State.
Garcia played in recent years in the Canadian Football League and led the
Stampeders to the 1998 Grey Cup Championship. At 6’1" and 195 lbs., the
reasonably mobile, pass efficient, and heady NFL rookie is getting
unexpected early experience on an injury riddled team.
Jeff also played in the East West Shrine game. Red Elder and Jeff Garcia
are thought to be the only granfather/grandson tandem to have done that.
Take a good look at Jeff. There is quite a bit of Red there.