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It’s official: Clemson’s Tony Elliott is Virginia’s new head football coach

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Tony Elliott is officially Virginia’s new head football coach.

After being offered the job earlier this week, then returning home to make a decision, Elliott agreed to terms today and will be introduced at a press conference early next week.

“This is an awesome opportunity for the University of Virginia as we welcome Coach Tony Elliott into the UVA football family,” said athletics director Carla Williams. “Coach Elliott is a winner in every sense of the word. He is known for his character, humility, work ethic, skill set and passion for education.

“Coach Elliott is an exceptional leader of young men and he is highly regarded across college football as a talented teacher and coach. He is an outstanding recruiter.”

While at Clemson, Elliott has been Dabo Swinney’s play-caller for seven seasons and part of a 10-season domination of the ACC, while the Tigers have won 10 or more games over that span, including six ACC Championships, four appearances in the College Football Playoff National Championship game and capture two titles in 2016 and 2018.

Elliott is a past (2017) Frank Broyles Award winner, symbolizing the nation’s top assistant coach. He was promoted by Swinney to co-offensive coordinator before the 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl. Since then, the Tigers have gone 89-10 and ranked among the top 12 nationally in total offense.

Clemson led or ranked second in the conference in total offense in five of his seven seasons as an offensive coordinator. His offense in 2018 and 2019 were responsible for two of the 22 650-point seasons in major college football history.

He was a walk-on wide receiver under former Tigers coach Tommy Bowden in 1999 and finished up as a scholarship player and team captain in 2003, earning four letters after playing in 44 games. Swinney was Elliott’s position coach (wide receiver).

Elliott spent three seasons on Furman’s coaching staff (2008-10) and two more at South Carolina State (2006-07), coaching wide receivers at both, prior to returning to his alma mater. He worked for Michelin North America for two years before beginning his coaching career.

“We aspire to elevate UVA football in a manner that is consistent with the University’s core mission and purpose,” Williams said. “Coach Elliott understands and embraces this amazing opportunity to do something really special at the University of Virginia. I am thrilled for the young men in our football program. We are honored to welcome him, his wife Tamika and their sons, A.J. and Ace to Virginia.”


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