Experiences at South Carolina helped prepare Elliott for Georgia State job
With the official announcement of Shawn Elliott as Georgia State's new head coach, South Carolina's last two offensive line coaches have left the school to become head coaches.
Elliott, who served many roles during his seven seasons in Columbia, started out as Carolina's o-line coach and running game coordinator before being named co-offensive coordinator in 2012.
When Steve Spurrier stepped down in the middle of the 2015 season, Elliott ran the Carolina program as the interim head coach for six games.
"It helped me prepare in the sense of, expect the unexpected," Elliott said of his time as the Gamecocks' interim coach. "In one moment I was an offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at about 8:30, 9:00 at night, and at 12:05 the next morning, I was the head coach at the University of South Carolina.
"There was a lot of great experienced that will lead me to be a better leader, a better head coach. It was a tremendous honor. One that I did not take lightly and a lot of experience that I'm going to use to build this program where it needs to be."
Following the hiring of head coach Will Muschamp, Elliott was the lone assistant coach retained as a member of the new staff.
"I want to thank (Muschamp) as well," Elliott said. "It was a great opportunity to work under him, see his guidance, and his focus. It really was an honor to be retained there at South Carolina after being the head coach. That was a fantastic year of experience and something that I always will value."
Elliott, who considers former Appalachian State coach Jerry Moore and Spurrier as his mentors, says he and Muschamp talked briefly about his opportunity at Georgia State and Muschamp offered his own advice for the new head coach.
"He knew from my time as the interim head coach at South Carolina that that was something that I wanted to do and a couple of other scenarios came about, so we had discussed the opportunity of being a head coach one day," Elliott said.
"Be yourself," Elliott says. "So many people try to fake their way in this business and move forward, just be yourself. Go out there and let people see who you are, don't hide behind something. That's probably the best advice: don't change who you are."
Former South Carolina offensive line coach Eric Wolford left the Gamecocks to become Youngstown State's head coach in 2009.