Shawn Elliott begins his seventh season in Columbia as the Gamecocks’ offensive line coach. He was the only member of Steve Spurrier’s coaching staff retained by Will Muschamp for the 2016 season.
The Camden, S.C. native originally joined the football staff on January 3, 2010. In addition to his duties with the offensive line, he served as the running game coordinator in 2010 and ‘11 and was given the title of co-offensive coordinator in 2012. When Coach Spurrier stepped down midway through the 2015 campaign, Elliott was named the interim head coach and posted a 1-5 ledger.
The Gamecock offense has thrived in most years since Elliott joined the staff. The 2014 unit scored nearly 33 points per game while racking up over 440 yards of offense per contest. Senior offensive guard A.J. Cann garnered both All-SEC and All-America accolades in the process.
The Gamecocks turned in the school’s best offensive season statistically in 2013, averaging 34.1 points while rolling up a school-record 452.3 yards per game. Carolina used a balanced attack, averaging 198.5 yards on the ground and 253.8 through the air. Elliott was blessed with a veteran offensive line in future NFL players Corey Robinson, A.J. Cann, Ronald Patrick and Brandon Shell, all of whom were starters for at least a second-straight season. Mike Davis rushed for 1,183 yards, the fourth-highest single-season total in school history. In 2012, the Gamecocks finished fifth in the SEC in scoring, averaging 31.5 points per game, while churning out 377 yards of offense per contest, using a balanced attack of rushing (139 ypg) and passing (238 ypg). Senior center T.J. Johnson garnered second-team All-SEC accolades, while tackle Brandon Shell was recognized on the All-Freshman squad.
The Gamecock offense showed tremendous balance in 2011. The squad averaged 192 yards on the ground and 182 yards through the air. Carolina had a 100-yard rusher in eight of the 13 games. Offensive tackle Rokevious Watkins earned All-SEC honors in his final campaign. The former Appalachian State offensive line coach’s first Gamecock squad showed a significant turnaround upon his arrival, especially in the running game, as Carolina averaged 154.4 rushing yards per game to rank eighth in the SEC after finishing last in the league each of the previous three years. His implementation of a new blocking scheme also helped running back Marcus Lattimore set the Carolina freshman record for rushing yards and the all-time single-season touchdown record for the Gamecocks while earning unanimous National Freshman of the Year accolades. Elliott helped convert former walk-on Garrett Chisolm into a second-team All-SEC selection.
Prior to his arrival in Columbia, Elliott coached his entire career at Appalachian State, where he helped the Mountaineers to three-straight national championships (2005-07). After earning his bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State in 1996, Elliott worked for two seasons as a defensive assistant, then two seasons as the tight ends coach before taking over the offensive line in 2001. Over his final nine seasons as the offensive line coach at Appalachian State, Elliott’s players earned All-America distinction on 12 occasions. From 2005-07, he coached three-consecutive SoCon Jacobs Blocking Trophy recipients.
Elliott was the first player in Appalachian State history to appear in the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs four separate seasons. He was a four-year letterwinner for the Black and Gold, helping the squad to two Southern Conference titles. He was a co-captain on the Mountaineers’ 1995 squad that finished 12-1 while earning all-league distinction as a defensive end. In his four seasons as a player, the Mountaineers posted a combined record of 36-14.
Elliott was one of three App State coaches to earn the NCAA’s Award of Valor for their efforts in rescuing two individuals from a car accident in 2000.
Elliott is married to the former Summer Scruggs, who was ASU’s women’s tennis Most Valuable Player in 1998. They have two children, Maddyn and Max.