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Virginia football coaching search update: What do we need to know about Tony Elliott?

uva footballTwo -l’s, two -t’s, when you’re typing his name, for starters. Tony Elliott is at this writing the offensive coordinator at Clemson, in his second season alone in that position, though he’s been the play-caller for seven seasons.

The first six seasons: pretty good. You know that story. Lots of yards, lots of points.

2021 was a bit of a rebuild with the losses of Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne, and saw Clemson ran just 13th in the ACC in total offense (362.8 yards per game), though the Tigers seemed to be putting things together down the stretch, putting up 48 points and 543 yards in the win over Wake, and 30 points and 364 yards in the regular-season finale win over South Carolina.

Elliott, 42, was the 2017 Frank Broyles Award winner, that award going to the best assistant in college football.

A 2002 Clemson alum, he was a walk-on wide receiver who by his senior season had been named a team captain.

He has a degree in industrial engineering and worked at Michelin for two years before going into coaching in 2006 at South Carolina State, where he stayed for two years, before moving to Furman for a three-year stint, then returning to his alma mater in 2011.

His offenses generally run the ball well – 240.4 yards per game rushing in 2019, 248.2 yards per game in 2018, just as two examples – and that’s with having guys like Lawrence and DeShaun Watson at QB.

So, Elliott is a smart guy, has a reputation as a good recruiter, loads of experience as a coordinator and play-caller.

The one knock I’d throw in for consideration: all of his experience is in the state of South Carolina. He’s been a coach at three schools, one being his alma mater.

How many coaching contacts can he call on to be able to hire the best staff possible?

It’s a fair question, maybe the only question I’d have, because the rest of the resume is solid.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press