Less than a week after Virginia offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich bolted to the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team announced the hiring of Clemson co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach Tony Elliott as his replacement. Elliott will join the team full-time following Clemson’s 2019 regular season schedule. Head coach John DeFilippo said, “We hate losing a coach like Byron, but we’re very excited about getting Tony on such short notice and what he can bring to the table for our team.”
Elliot’s accomplishments include:
• Clemson’s run of eight straight 10-win seasons started when he became a full-time assistant coach. Clemson is 97-15 since he came back to Clemson in 2011.
• Had a big impact in Clemson winning five ACC titles. He has been on the staff of seven ACC Atlantic Division titles in the last eight years.
• Recipient of the 2017 Frank Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach.
• Running backs coach of the year by FootballScoop in 2017.
• Helped Clemson produce a school-record 3,723 rushing yards in 2018, breaking the record of 3,469 that had stood since 1978. Also broke the school records in yards per carry (6.55) and rushing touchdowns (49).
• Guided Travis Etienne to one of the finest rushing seasons in Clemson’s illustrious history in 2018, helping the ACC Player of the Year and Doak Walker Award finalist set school records in rushing yards (1,658) and rushing touchdowns (24).
Owner Scott Smith is reportedly incensed about Leftwich’s sudden departure to the NFL and is considering filing a lawsuit against the Buccaneers and NFL for staff tampering. “They took our coach, we deserve compensation,” he said.