Duke officially interviews Clemson OC Tony Elliott

With the strangeness of Miami’s pursuit of Mario Cristobal, it’s been hard to focus on other ACC football coaching searches. However, Duke continues to make progress with its quest to replace David Cutcliffe, who finished his tenure in Durham after 14 seasons.

One of the hot names in coaching circles is Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott. According to a report from Adam Rowe at The Devil Den, Duke formally interviewed Elliott for the position.

With Bronco Mendenhall stepping down, Elliott is a candidate for the open Virginia coaching position, too.

Elliott, 42, played football at Clemson (2000-03); a few years after his college career ended, Elliott joined the coaching ranks. First, he was a wide receivers coach at South Carolina State (2006-07). Elliott quickly moved up to Furman, where he was the receivers coach for three seasons (2008-10).

After Furman, Elliott headed to Dabo Swinney’s staff at Clemson — just as the rocket ship was getting ready for takeoff. During his first four seasons with the Tigers (2011-14), Elliott served as the program’s running backs coach. When Chad Morris left for SMU after the 2014 season, Elliott was promoted to co-offensive coordinator.

Elliott served as the running backs coach and co-offensive coordinator for five seasons (2015-19), which included two national titles for Clemson.

Ahead of the 2020 season, Elliott was named the team’s sole offensive coordinator, following the departure of Jeff Scott (USF). Prior to the 2021 season, Elliott received another bump: he was named an associate head coach.

If Elliott leaves for Duke, Virginia or another job, Clemson will need to seriously retool; former defensive coordinator Brent Venables, a program stalwart under Swinney, was hired Sunday night to become the head coach at Oklahoma.

For Duke, Elliott would be a really solid hire. He has deep ties to the region. Elliott has spent the last two decades playing and coaching college football in South Carolina. Plus, he’s a good offensive mind, with a track record of success. This is in the mold of Cutcliffe, too.


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