Release from Georgia State Athletics:
Shawn Elliott, formerly the co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at South Carolina and a coaching veteran with 20 years of experience in winning programs, was introduced Friday as Georgia State’s third head football coach by President Mark Becker and Director of Athletics Charlie Cobb.
“I’m so proud to be here,” Elliott said. “The future is bright at Georgia State University and that stadium we’re about to move into. We’re going to bring effort and enthusiasm, and we’re going to attack every single day as if it’s our last. I know that’s easy to say but it’s the truth. People talk about vision, vision, vision; I talk about now and what we need to be doing right now.”
“Everyone wants to ask about offensive and defensive philosophy. To put it bluntly, we’re going to try to score a lot of points and hold the other team to a few points,” he continued.
“We’re going to hire a solid foundation with our coaching staff that will be well-respected in the community and well-respected in the great state of Georgia because we know how important this great of state of Georgia is in football and athletics,” he continued. “With that staff we’re going to recruit the high schools and the coaches in this state to try to bring in the very, very best to represent this fine university.”
Elliott has worked the last seven seasons at South Carolina under Will Muschamp and Steve Spurrier, highlighted by three consecutive 11-win seasons from 2011-13 during the most successful run in the Gamecocks’ history. In addition to coaching the offensive line, he was the running game coordinator in 2010 and 2011, was elevated to co-offensive coordinator in 2012, and then served as the interim head coach following Spurrier’s retirement midway through the 2015 season.
Before going to South Carolina in 2010, Elliott served 13 seasons as an assistant coach at Appalachian State. He was an integral part of App State’s three consecutive NCAA titles from 2005-07 as well as the Mountaineers’ historic upset at Michigan in 2007.
In 20 seasons as a Division I assistant coach, Elliott has been a part of 19 winning seasons and helped coach 16 teams to the NCAA playoffs or a bowl game.
“First, we wanted a leader who would bring positive energy to our football program,” Cobb said. “Second, we wanted someone sincerely committed to the academic performance and social development of the young men in our football program and someone who is eager to integrate with the Georgia State community. Third, we wanted someone committed to the aggressive recruitment of the state of Georgia and overall. We have found that person in Shawn Elliot. He is a winner, first and foremost.”
Elliott originally joined the South Carolina staff in 2010 and helped the Gamecocks reach five straight bowl games while coaching some of the most prolific and balanced offenses in school history. The Gamecocks turned in the program’s best offensive season, statistically, in 2013, averaging 34.1 points while rolling up a school-record 452.3 yards per game, including 198.5 yards on the ground and 253.8 through the air.
South Carolina’s 2014 unit scored nearly 33 points per game while averaging over 440 yards of offense as All-America and All-Southeastern Conference offensive guard A.J. Cann paved the way. In 2010, Elliott’s first season in Columbia, his offensive line blocked for record-setting running back Marcus Lattimore, the National Freshman of the Year.
In addition to Cann, a third-round draft pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2015, Elliott developed future NFL linemen Corey Robinson, Ronald Patrick, Brandon Shell, T.J. Johnson and Rokevious Watkins.
Prior to his arrival in Columbia, Elliott coached his entire career at Appalachian State. Beginning in 1997, he worked two seasons as a defensive assistant (1997-98) and then two seasons as the tight ends coach (1999-00) before taking over the offensive line in 2001.
In nine seasons as the Mountaineers’ offensive line coach, Elliott’s players earned All-America distinction on 12 occasions, including four different linemen who received first-team All-America accolades. He also coached All-American and future NFL tight end Daniel Wilcox in 2000. In 2003, offensive lineman Wayne Smith was the first pick in the Canadian Football League Draft. From 2005-07, Elliott coached three-consecutive Southern Conference Jacobs Blocking Trophy recipients.
Elliott helped lead the Mountaineers to 10 NCAA playoff berths in 13 seasons with two trips to the national semifinals and three appearances in the quarterfinals in addition to the three championships.
Elliott was one of three App State coaches to earn the NCAA’s Award of Valor for their efforts in rescuing two individuals from a car accident in 2000.
“I’m fortunate that our paths crossed 11 years ago at App State,” Cobb said. “It didn’t take long for me to be impressed with his coaching style, his maturity, and his love for competition, especially in the game of football.”
As a player, Elliott was the first player in Mountaineer annals to appear in the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs four separate seasons. He was a four-year letterwinner, helping the Mountaineers to two Southern Conference titles and a combined record of 36-16. He served as a co-captain of the 1995 Appalachian State squad that finished 12-1 while earning all-league distinction as a defensive end.