On ESPN’s College Football Live, ESPN college football analyst Desmond Howard weighed in on Virginia’s hire of Tony Elliott as the football program’s next head coach.
Howard was asked if it makes sense for Clemson’s former offensive coordinator to go to UVA.
“I think Tony Elliott is a really good hire,” Howard said. “I like him as a coach, but I really respect him as a person, too. And you look at his story, man, just a tremendous story. Dabo Swinney gave him his opportunity to be an OC at Clemson, and he’s delivered.”
Elliott was named co-offensive coordinator at Clemson prior to the 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl and was co-offensive coordinator of Clemson’s 2016 and 2018 national championship teams.
Clemson posted an 89-10 record in 99 games since his 2014 promotion, and the Tigers finished in the top 25 in each of his first 10 years as a full-time coach from 2011-20, including top-five finishes in each of the last six seasons before this year.
While coaching Clemson’s running backs from 2011-20, Elliott coached a 1,000-yard rusher seven times, including Wayne Gallman in 2015 and 2016 and Travis Etienne in 2018 and 2019.
“He’s a guy who’s going to develop young talent,” Howard said. “You look at Trevor Lawrence and all these great quarterbacks and players that he’s had offensively, they give Tony Elliott a tremendous amount of credit for their development.
“So, he’s learned at the feet of the master, one of the best coaches we’ve seen for the past eight, nine years — Dabo Swinney — and now he’s ready to take his talents to UVA. So, I think it’s a good hire.”
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