South Carolina’s Shawn Elliott makes a pitch to keep job
South Carolina is slated to host The Citadel on Saturday in a game with very little on the line.
During the SEC coaches teleconference Wednesday, the questions for interim coach Shawn Elliott backed up that sentiment.
Elliott made an opening statement on the Gamecocks’ upcoming tilt, then fielded two questions before his teleconference came to an awkward end.
Those questions were whether Elliott had time to reflect on the last month that he’s been the interim coach at South Carolina and if he felt there was a difference between the team under coach Steve Spurrier and the team he’s coaching this Saturday.
“It was a chance to erase a bad start to the season,” Elliott said. “There was new change, a new philosophy in how I approach the football team, how I address them, how we do day-to-day operations. There have been several things implemented in that time that has made many differences in our football team.
“I’m still sitting here with me as interim coach at 1-3, but I believe you can pinpoint improvement in all facets of our football team whether it’s academics, our play offensively and defensively. We’ve made some changes and our players are playing with a hunger. They’re going out there and, at any given moment, laid it on the line and put us in a position to win all four of the games I’ve been interim coach.”
Elliott’s tenure as interim coach kicked off on a high note, as the Gamecocks earned their first SEC victory of the season with a 19-10 triumph over Vanderbilt just five days after Spurrier resigned.
Since then, South Carolina has dropped three in a row to Texas A&M, Tennessee and Florida. The Gamecocks showed life in those first two losses on the road, coming up short by a combined 10 points.
However, the Gamecocks were silenced for three quarters at home last Saturday against Florida.
South Carolina was 2-4 under Spurrier and is 1-3 under Elliott. The team has been competitive, but the results are nearly the same.
During South Carolina’s press conference Tuesday, Elliott said he still has not met with athletic director Ray Tanner. Last week, FoxSports.com reported the university has halted recruiting efforts until the Gamecocks name a new coach, which could be soon.
Elliott is expected to be a candidate for the full-time position, though based on the brief teleconference Wednesday, he may be a long shot.