South Carolina's Elliott says downsizing was for family reasons, not changes in college football

south carolina's elliott says downsizing was for family reasons, not changes in college football

FILE – Georgia State head coach Shawn Elliott walks the sideline in the second half of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl NCAA college football game against Utah State, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2023, in Boise, Idaho. Georgia State abruptly postponed spring football practice on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, after Shawn Elliott became the latest head coach to accept an assistant’s job at another school. Elliott is headed to South Carolina as tight ends coach, pending the expected approval from the university’s board of trustees at a Friday morning meeting. (AP Photo/Steve Conner, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Newly hired South Carolina assistant Shawn Elliott did not leave his job as Georgia State’s head coach because of challenges with NIL, retaining players or other changes in college football.

His reasons were a lot closer to home. For all of his seven seasons with the Panthers, Elliott maintained his family home in Columbia and frequently commuted the 220 miles each way to Atlanta.

“The most important people in my life live in the state of South Carolina and the Columbia area,” Elliott said Tuesday.

Elliott’s departure came earlier this month after the team already had begun spring practice. It followed higher profile head coach departures — Chip Kelly leaving as UCLA coach to become Ohio State’s offensive coordinator and Jeff Hafley quitting at Boston College to become the Green Bay Packers’ defensive coordinator — and he appeared to be the latest to throw up his hands amid the changing game.

Not the case, Elliott said. Yes, the the lure of name, image and likeness money from Power Five schools did take a toll on the program, with 22 of his players leaving for bigger schools the past two years.

But that didn’t drive him from the Sun Belt Conference program.

“I’ve never personally run from a problem,” he said. “I’ve always found a solution in how to fix it.”

Elliott certainly did that at Georgia State, which has played in the Football Bowl Subdivision only since 2013. He led the Panthers to their first winning season in the FBS and went 4-1 in bowl games during his time there.

But as the mileage piled up — Elliott said he has put some 110,000 miles on a truck he bought in 2020 — Elliott said being away from wife Summer, daughter Maddyn and son Max was harder to do.

It was the right decision in 2017 for Elliott to leave his job as South Carolina offensive line coach for Georgia State. “It was what I needed to do for my career at that point in time,” said Elliott, 50.

This too, he said, was the right move.

Elliott said he reached out to South Carolina after tight ends coach Justin Stepp left to become wide receivers coach at Illinois to make sure the school knew of his interest. A couple of phone calls with Gamecocks coach Shane Beamer was all it took.

Elliott received a three-year contract worth $2.275 million. He coached the offensive line at South Carolina under Steve Spurrier from 2010-15, was interim head coach after Spurrier’s midseason resignation in 2015 and stayed on the staff with Will Muschamp in 2016 before moving to Georgia State.

Elliott acknowledged the difficult timing of his departure. But he said his discussions with school leaders and Georgia State players were candid and cordial. “There wasn’t another way I could’ve done it,” he said.

Beamer, who worked with Elliott in 2010 on Spurrier’s staff, was eager to bring Elliott back. “I always try to make our program better,” Beamer said. “He makes our program better.”

South Carolina special teams coach Joe DeCamillis, who won two Super Bowls over 32 years as an NFL assistant, said he thinks college is more pure than the pros. College teams aren’t tanking for better draft picks like you might see in the NFL, he said.

“That’s what it’s all about, in my opinion, is winning,” he said.

For Elliott, it is about the chance to not have to speed off moments after his daughter’s cheerleading competition or his son’s football game. He imagines the three someday performing at Williams-Brice Stadium, dad leading the tight ends, daughter part of the college cheer squad and son as a player.

That, Elliott said, would be “a dream come true.”

___

AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Volkswagen "very worried" about the future of its operations in SA

A senior Volkswagen executive involved in a global cost-cutting strategy said on Friday, 24 November, he was “very worried” about the future of the company’s operations in South Africa, which ... Read more »

Liz Truss backs Trump with call for Republican presidential victory

Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters Liz Truss, the shortest-serving prime minister in British history, who was famously shown to have a shorter shelf life than a lettuce, has effectively backed Donald Trump ... Read more »

Standard Bank treasonous? We're literally helping to keep the lights on says CEO

Standard Bank treasonous? We're literally helping to keep the lights on says CEO Bruce Whitfield speaks to Lungisa Fuzile, Standard Bank SA CEO. Standard Bank is one of 28 banks ... Read more »

Israel, Hamas agree to extend truce for two days; Musk ‘would like to help rebuild Gaza’

Israel, Hamas agree to extend truce for two days; Musk ‘would like to help rebuild Gaza’ The UN said many people in Gaza still had no food or cooking fuel ... Read more »

This is what Pitso Mosimane said about the African Football League

Mamelodi Sundowns’ former coach, Pitso Mosimane, dismissed the African Football League Jingles shared his opinion and compared it to the CAF league and said that it was a mere tournament ... Read more »

Take note of these N3 road works between Westville and Paradise Valley

Take note of these N3 road works between Westville and Paradise Valley The N3 between the Westville viaduct and Paradise Valley interchange will be partially closed to traffic for the ... Read more »

UKZN medical student bags 2023 Health Excellence Rising Star Award

UKZN medical student bags 2023 Health Excellence Rising Star Award Durban — One of the country’s most progressive young minds in the medical field, fifth-year University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) medical ... Read more »
Top List in the World