The big piece of football news this week was clearly the hire of Shawn Elliott as the new offensive line coach at South Carolina. Elliott previously coached at Appalachian State. Here’s some media reports of the hire:
“You’ve got to get the most out of players,” [Elliott] said. “I’m energetic and passionate about the game of football. My philosophy is nobody will outwork us. Our O-line will be the leaders of our football team. I just feel like if you outwork people there’s no excuse. There’s no option to fail.”
He’s been the Mountaineers’ offensive line coach the past nine seasons, including the national championship years from 2005-07.
Elliott has coached 12 players that have earned All-America distinctions. In the title-winning seasons, he had three consecutive winners of the Southern Conference blocking trophy.
“It will be a challenging job and one that I am looking forward to and embracing, “Elliott said. “I’m exciting about getting there (today) and hitting the ground running.”
One story about Elliott that hasn’t been told yet in the releases about his hire is the unique NCAA award he received. On September 30, 2000 after an Appalachian win over East Tennessee State University, the Mountaineers were traveling back to Boone when they came upon a van in a fiery accident. After closer inspection, they realized it was the van carrying the team’s student trainers, managers and videographers. Elliott and two other Appalachian State coaches helped pull out two staff members trapped in the vehicle before it was engulfed in flames. For their actions, the three coaches received the NCAA Award of Valor. The award goes to current intercollegiate athletics coaches or administrators and current or former varsity letter-winners at NCAA institutions who, when confronted with situations involving personal danger, acted with valor to avert or minimize potential disaster. The honor is not given annually – only when a worthy candidate is found. The Award of Valor has only been awarded 12 times since 1974.
Below you can see some brief video of Elliott in a coaching moment at halftime of the 2007 Appalachian State – Michigan game. Feel free to watch the entire clip or just fast forward to the 9:38 mark to see Elliott.