CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia athletics director Carla Williams announced today the hiring of Tony Elliott as the University of Virginia’s Fralin Family Head Football Coach. Elliott becomes the 41st head football coach in the program’s history.
Elliott has spent the last 11 seasons as an assistant on Dabo Swinney’s staff at Clemson. In January of 2021, he was named the program’s assistant head coach and offensive coordinator. He previously served as the team’s co-offensive coordinator (2014-20) and the team’s running backs coach (2011-20).
“This is an awesome opportunity for the University of Virginia as we welcome Coach Tony Elliott into the UVA football family,” 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.
“We aspire to elevate UVA football in a manner that is consistent with the University’s core mission and purpose. Coach Elliott understands and embraces this amazing opportunity to do something really special at the University of Virginia. I am thrilled for the young men in our football program. We are honored to welcome him, his wife Tamika and their sons, A.J. and Ace, to Virginia.”
At Clemson, Elliott has been part of a 10-season stretch in which the Tigers won 10 or more games. 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.
Since Elliott’s promotion to co-offensive coordinator prior to the 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl, the Tigers have posted an 89-10 record and ranked in the top 12 nationally in total offense. Clemson either led or ranked No. 2 in the ACC in total offense in five of his seven seasons as an offensive coordinator. Elliott’s 2018 and 2019 offenses were responsible for two of the 22 650-point seasons in major college football history.
Elliott was named the Frank Broyles Award recipient as the nation’s top assistant coach in 2017. Before transitioning to the tight ends room this year, Elliott was in charge of Clemson’s running backs for his first 10 seasons. In that time, he guided Clemson running back Travis Etienne to one of the most illustrious careers in ACC and college football history, helping him set the NCAA record for most games scoring a touchdown (46) and secure ACC records for career rushing yards (4,952), total touchdowns (78), rushing touchdowns (70) and points (468).
As the program’s offensive coordinator, Elliott has worked with two first-round draft picks at quarterback, including the 2021 first overall pick Trevor Lawrence. From 2015-2020, a Clemson offensive player took home both the ACC’s Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year awards four times.
Prior to returning to his alma mater, Elliott spent three seasons at Furman (2008-10) and two at South Carolina State (2006-07) coaching wide receivers at both schools. Prior to his coaching career he worked for Michelin North America for two years.
In 2002, Elliott earned his undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from Clemson, where he was a first-team Academic All-ACC selection as well as a CoSIDA Academic District III member. He was also a recipient of an ACC Weaver-James-Corrigan Postgraduate Scholarship.
Under Tommy Bowden, he came to Clemson as a walk-on wide receiver in the fall of 1999 and finished his career with four letters and appeared in 44 games. Swinney was his position coach his senior year (2003) in which he was named a co-captain of a team that finished with a 9-4 record and a No. 22 final ranking by AP and USA Today.
Born in Watsonville, Calif., Elliott and his wife, Tamika, have two sons, A.J. and Ace.