Georgia State has agreed to hire Shawn Elliott as its next football coach. A news conference is set for 11 a.m. Friday.
Elliott worked with Panthers athletic director Charlie Cobb when both were at Appalachian State. Elliott has been a position coach or coordinator at South Carolina since 2010.
Elliott will replace Trent Miles, who was fired with two games remaining in the season with a record of 9-38 that included one bowl appearance in 2015.
Elliott played defensive end at Appalachian State (1992-95) before becoming an assistant coach in Boone, N.C., in 1997. He moved over to coach tight ends (1999-2000) and then the offensive line (2001-09). From 2005-07, the Mountaineers won three consecutive FCS national titles.
Elliott then accepted a job with Steve Spurrier at South Carolina as the offensive line coach and running game coordinator in 2010. He received serious consideration to take over the Mountaineers program when Jerry Moore retired following the 2012 season. Instead, Cobb, who was athletic director at Appalachian State, hired Scott Satterfield.
Elliott served as co-offensive coordinator from 2012-15 — which was more of a title because Spurrier was also the de-facto offensive coordinator — and served as interim head coach when Spurrier resigned mid-season in ‘15. Elliott was retained by new coach Will Muschamp, but returned to coaching the offensive line this season.
As South Carolina’s offensive coordinator, the Gamecocks averaged 21.9 points and 362.2 yards per game in 2015, 32.6 points and 443.4 yards in 2014, 34.1 points and 452.3 yards in 2013, and 31.5 points and 376.5 yards in 2012. The running game averaged 154.7 yards per game in 2015, 161 yards in 2014, 198.5 yards in 2013, and 138.5 yards in 2012.
Elliott will become Georgia State’s third coach since its inaugural season in 2010, following Bill Curry, previously head coach at Georgia Tech, Alabama and Kentucky, and Miles, previously the head coach at Indiana State. The Panthers have had one winning season and went 3-9 overall, 2-6 in the Sun Belt this year.
Cobb said he hoped to have the hire announced by Dec. 15 and wanted someone who believed Georgia State could build a winning program and someone who could energize the fan base throughout the year.
Among the reported people who were interviewed were Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer, Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee, Arizona State offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey, Georgia Tech recruiting coordinator Andy McCollum and South Carolina co-offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon.
Elliott recruits parts of Atlanta for the Gamecocks, so he’s familiar with the high school coaches.
He will also have a recruiting advantage that the previous coaches didn’t have: Turner Field. Georgia State will move from the Georgia Dome and is scheduled to play its home games in a converted version of the Braves’ former home in 2017.
Elliott will inherit a squad that must be replace at least six starters on defense, as well as its top playmaker on offense in wide receiver Robert Davis. It will return quarterbacks Conner Manning and Aaron Winchester, wide receivers Penny Hart and Todd Boyd, several running backs, cornerbacks Chandon Sullivan and Jerome Smith, and linebacker Michael Shaw.
Though the terms of the contract haven’t been finalized, Cobb last week said the coach would likely have the same salary as Miles (approximately $550,000) with $1.1 million to be spent on the assistant coaches.
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