With a rash of big names circulating in conjunction with the South Carolina job, interim coach Shawn Elliott’s interview has flown under the radar.
Elliott interviewed with South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner on Wednesday and remains confident about his chances at being promoted into the full-time role.
“I’m a pretty confident guy. So going in, I was very confident. Coming out, I was very confident,” Elliott said to South Carolina Radio Network’s “Sport Talk” program.
“And that’s the only way you can be if you’re going after something that you love, and you have a great interest in and pride and passion in. And I felt the same way. I was ready to go after it going in, and coming out I feel the exact same way.”
Elliott went 1-5 after taking over for Steve Spurrier in early October. Elliott led the Gamecocks to a 19-10 victory over Vanderbilt in his coaching debut before the team dropped its final five games to close out the season.
Tanner is expected to name a coach as early as this weekend, and a slew of candidates have been linked to the coaching vacancy in recent days.
Elliott commended the athletic director for taking his time with the interview process, but added he did not receive an indication when the position would be filled.
“He’s doing his due diligence to make an important hire for the University of South Carolina, the football program and the Gamecock fan base and the great state of South Carolina,” Elliott said. “I applaud him for taking his time, doing everything in his power to make sure it’s the right hire for the University of South Carolina.”
Asked about whether the Gamecocks would be more competitive in 2016 if he lands the job, Elliott said much would be contingent on the offseason.
“You got to go through the offseason, through weight training, through conditioning, through spring practice,” he said. “You have to re-evaluate players, maybe some changes in personnel, maybe scheme. We’ve got a lot of great young men, and that’s important to build upon and move forward.”
Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp is reportedly the favorite to land the gig. Other reported candidates include Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez, Cal coach Sonny Dykes, former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano and Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley.
Additionally, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen, UGA defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt and Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia have all been linked to the job.