If the University of South Carolina were to call Tony Elliott about its recent head coaching vacancy, Clemson’s offensive coordinator would not pick up the phone.
It is not a slight at the Gamecocks, it is just the way Elliott handles every school who is looking for a new head coach during this time of the year.
“I don’t answer my phone to be honest with you. I am just transparent with people,” Elliott said Monday as the No. 4 Tigers get set to play Florida State this coming Saturday in Tallahassee, Fla. “I tell them this is who I am. I am focused on what I am doing. I stay off the Twitter stuff and I kind of remind my family not to say anything or bring me up, just let it be.
“Again, it is about Clemson and it is about these young men. We are in 2020 and these guys have invested so much during this pandemic, it would be really selfish.”
Elliott was asked Monday if he would be interested in the South Carolina job if he was approached about the opening. The Gamecocks fired Will Muschamp as head coach on Sunday evening following their third straight lopsided defeat at Ole Miss on Saturday.
In Muschamp’s five seasons at South Carolina, the Gamecocks were 28-30, including a 17-22 record in the SEC.
“This is the time of the year where I get frustrated because my name gets thrown out there,” Elliott said. “You guys know, and hopefully my track record speaks for itself. I am focused on these players and this staff right here. They have been too good for me to even consider any other jobs at this time.
“So, right now, I am focused on Clemson and being the best I can be. As we started this conversation. We have some things we have to clean up offensively and that is my focus right now.”
As for Muschamp and his staff, Elliott feels for them and their families. He has been on that side of the coin before.
“I have said it before, this is a coaching fraternity. You don’t want to see anyone … I went through it when I was at Furman when we got fired. There is so much uncertainty and unknowns and you start to question yourself and that is not a good situation for anybody,” Clemson’s running backs coach and offensive coordinator said. “Then you think about the players. Those players went there to play for him. They are invested in him. They are invested in the program.
“It has been a crazy year. I don’t know all the details surrounding that, but definitely my heart goes out to the coaches and players. This was not what they were working towards. They were working towards a different outcome and unfortunately it did not unfold that way.”
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