Virginia announces hiring of Tony Elliott as next head football coach

Virginia Sports

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — Virginia announced the hiring of Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott as its next head football coach, ending an over weeklong search to replace Bronco Mendenhall.

“This is an awesome opportunity for the University of Virginia as we welcome Coach Tony Elliott into the UVA football family,” athletic director Carla Williams said. “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 who has been responsible for recruiting, signing and developing scholar-athletes while competing for and winning championships.”

ESPN’s Chris Low and Yahoo! Sports reporter Pete Thamel were the first to report the move before Virginia’s official announcement.

Elliott and his family flew to Charlottesville on Wednesday to interview in person for the position.

Elliott became a full-time assistant coach for the Tigers in 2011, with Clemson accumulating a record of 121 wins and 18 losses. He played a role in the school’s run of ten consecutive 10-win seasons that began when he returned to the Tigers. In that span, Clemson won six Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made four appearances in the College Football Playoff National Championship game and captured national titles in 2016 and 2018. 

This past season, Elliott transitioned from guiding the running backs to the tight ends and added the Assistant Head Coach title.

Among the players, Elliott has worked with is Travis Etienne — who had one of the most illustrious careers in ACC and college football history — helping him set the NCAA record for most games scoring a touchdown and ACC records for career rushing yards, total touchdowns, rushing touchdowns and points. Etienne is one of only 12 players in FBS history with 4,000 career rushing yards and 1,000 career receiving yards.

Elliott is a former player for Clemson and was a co-captain of the 2003 team that went 9-3 and ranked No. 22 in the Associated Press and USA Today’s final rankings. He had 23 receptions for 286 yards and a touchdown that season.

Virginia’s announcement comes more than a week after Mendenhall announced he would resign after the Cavaliers’ appearance at the Fenway Bowl on Dec. 29, citing a desire to spend more time with family.

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