Clemson co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott’s name was immediately mentioned as a possible candidate for the Georgia Tech head coaching job after Yellow Jackets coach Paul Johnson resigned last week.
Elliott recruits the Atlanta area some and is one of the top assistant coaches in college football.
The 39-year-old won the Broyles Award following the 2017 season, which is given to the top assistant coach in the country.
Elliott was asked following Clemson’s ACC championship win against Pitt on Saturday for his thoughts on the Georgia Tech job. He has not been contacted by anybody at Georgia Tech, he said. If that changes, there’s a process he will go through.
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“That’s a situation where I’ll sit down and talk with coach (Dabo) Swinney, and I really haven’t given much thought to it. I’m still, like I’ve told you before, I’m still growing in this role. And I understand what the challenges are of being a head coach,” Elliott said. “There are some things I’ve got to do personally to get myself ready. But at the present moment, I’m just focusing on what I’ve got, and if the Lord provides an opportunity, then I’ll have to go into prayer, talk with the people I trust and then possibly look into it.”
Bruce Feldman of The Athletic reported Monday that Elliott, Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, Temple head coach Geoff Collins and Alabama offensive line coach Brent Key have “gotten some traction” for the job.
Elliott has received interest from other programs in the past but has been picky about pursuing head coaching jobs. He has a good situation at Clemson as the co-offensive coordinator for one of the best teams in the country, and he is also coaching at his alma mater.
It remains to be seen if the Georgia Tech job is one that could pull Elliott away.
“Like I say all the time, I’m a Clemson Tiger. I’m not gonna be a distraction to anybody. I’m focused on helping these young men. I’ve got an unbelievable situation. My family is happy here,” Elliott said. “Obviously, if it’s the Lord’s time, then he’ll provide an opportunity, but right now, I’m fully focused on Clemson football. I haven’t been contacted by anybody. I hate the speculation that gets out there because it does create a distraction. But I’m locked in on the Tigers, and I don’t know what the future holds.”
Clemson clinched a spot in the College Football Playoff with its win against Pitt in the ACC title game, and the Tigers will face Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29.
If Georgia Tech or other programs do reach out to Elliott, he insists he will not let it become a distraction for Clemson during its preparation for the playoff.
“Coach talks about it all the time, you’ve got to bloom where you’re planted. And I’m just enjoying the moment. I also know from past experiences that the grass is not always greener on the other side,” Elliott said. “So I’m just excited. I’ve got a great group of running backs. I’ve got unbelievable young men that are fully committed. And it would be selfish of me to preach to them to be committed and I’m out here not committed. So that’s how I keep my focus, because when I look at those guys in my room they’re committed.”