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Tony Elliott named new Virginia Football Head Coach

The former Clemson Offensive Coordinator

Syndication: The Greenville News Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

The next head football coach of the Virginia Cavaliers is Tony Elliott, Athletics Director Carla Williams announced on [Thursday]. Elliott comes after having served for 10 years on the Clemson coaching staff, including as Assistant Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator, Tight Ends this past season.

Recognized as the nation’s top assistant coach in 2017 as the Frank Broyles Award winner, Elliott helped lead Clemson to two national championships during his tenure there. He first arrived as a Clemson coach in 2011 as running backs coach until 2014. From 2015-2019, he was promoted to Co-OC and Runnings Backs, served as OC and RB in 2020, and was promoted to Assistant Head Coach, OC, and Tight Ends this season.

In 2018 and 2019, Clemson became the first school with back-to-back 650-point seasons since Yale did the same in 1888-89. There have only ever been 22 instances of a 650-point season in major college football history.

Elliott’s cupboard has hardly been bare, working with the likes of Travis Etienne, Wayne Gallman, Roderick McDowell, Andre Ellington and so many more. Of course, he also had the benefit of Trevor Lawrence.

Still, to discount any of his accomplishments because he had the benefit of Lawrence and others is to discount his own ability as a recruiter. In 2015, Rivals named him one of the top-25 recruiters in the country, and a top-10 in the ACC.

Elliott played at Clemson, where he was co-captain in 2003.

He’s reported to have been offered the Tennessee head coaching job last year, and has been reported to be in the mix for both the Auburn and South Carolina gigs as well. He was also reported to have been the top choice at Duke this season.

With things finalized and Elliott coming to Charlottesville, the program can now turn to the tall task of building a staff, retaining key players, and recruiting new players both out of the transfer portal and heading into early signing day. Fans are hot to keep Marques Hagans and Jason Beck on the offensive side of the staff — who’s your key picks on the defensive side?