Clemson’s Tony Elliott Tells Why He Turned Down Tennessee Job

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Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said the timing wasn’t right to take the recently vacant Tennessee coaching job, and that alone is the reason he remains at Clemson.

“Really, really appreciative of (new Tennessee AD) Danny White and just his interest in me and having an opportunity to talk to him and go through that experience,” Elliott told reporteers. “Definitely it was something that I really had to sit down and think about and consider and pray about and talk to people and try to find the right confirmation.”

White is the former athletic director at the University of Central Florida and tried to convince Allen to come there at one time. The timing wasn’t right then, either.

White eventually hired Josh Heupel, also formerly of UCF, to lead the Vols. Heupel replaced Jeremy Pruitt, fired after the season amidst an investigation into recruiting violations.

Meanwhile, Elliott chose to stay at the national power that produced quarterback Trevor Lawrence, widely expected to be the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft.

“At the end of the day, when I put everything on the table, it just wasn’t the right time,” Elliott said. “And so I’m just so happy to be in an environment where people embrace me even though I was going through that. Showing me support one way or another. Having an opportunity to have those conversations with Coach (Dabo) Swinney just strengthens our relationship even more.”

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side,


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