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Virginia football announces Clemson OC Tony Elliott as new head coach

After 11 years with the ACC juggernaut, the Clemson OC will take over at UVA.

Syndication: The Greenville News
Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott watches players warm up before the game with Louisville at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Ky, November 6, 2021.
Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

Friday update: And here’s the official announcement. Well done, Virginia.

Friday update: It appears that Elliott is Charlottesville, VA, bound.

Elliott was immediately tabbed as a candidate for the position following the sudden resignation of now former UVA head coach Bronco Mendenhall last week. He was also reportedly being courted for the vacancy at Duke, but the Virginia interest progressed to the point where he was flown up to Charlottesville to meet with school officials on Wednesday.

Negotiations reportedly hit a snag between the two sides on Thursday, some citing the program’s facilities and financial commitment to football as reasoning. But that snag was smoothed over by Friday afternoon and he was on a plane back up to Charlottesville to seal the deal.


The Virginia Cavaliers are looking at Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott to fill their head coaching vacancy, according to Action Network’s Brett McMurphy. While there’s no deal done yet, Elliott is the leading candidate for the position.

Elliott has been at Clemson since 2015. He was the co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach at the time, eventually being promoted to offensive coordinator in 2020. In 2021, Elliott was also named associate head coach. He has coached several notable players during his time at Clemson, including Deshaun Watson, Trevor Lawrence, Wayne Gallman and Travis Etienne.

This could be a rough coaching cycle for Clemson, which already saw longtime defensive coordinator Brent Venables finally take a head coaching job when he went to Oklahoma. With the Tigers having a down season by their lofty standards, Elliott might be willing to head over to a fellow ACC school.

The Cavaliers are looking for a new head coach after Bronco Mendenhall unexpectedly resigned following the season. Virginia went 6-6 in 2021, but has a dynamic quarterback in Brennan Armstrong and a decent group of skill players for Elliott to potentially work with if he landed the job officially.