New era begins as Elliott is introduced

(Pictured from left to right) Georgia State President Mark Becker, Georgia State Football Head Coach Shawn Elliott and Director of Athletics Charlie Cobb. Photo By Rashad Milligan | The Signal
(Pictured from left to right) Georgia State President Mark Becker, Georgia State Football Head Coach Shawn Elliott and Director of Athletics Charlie Cobb. Photo By Rashad Milligan | The Signal
(Pictured from left to right) Georgia State President Mark Becker, Georgia State Football Head Coach Shawn Elliott and Director of Athletics Charlie Cobb.
Photo By Rashad Milligan | The Signal

The year 2017 will mark the start of a new era in Georgia State football. A new stadium, new uniform athletic sponsorship and a new head coach. The Panthers introduced Shawn Elliott as the leader of the football program on Dec. 9.

“Wow,” Elliott said during his introductory press conference. “What a day. First off I want to say how excited I am to be here, representing the Georgia State football program.”

Elliott served as the interim head coach for the University of South Carolina in 2015 after the coach with the 47th most wins in college football history, Steve Spurrier stepped down in the middle of the year. Spurrier was named the NFCAA Contributions Award recipient on Dec. 8 at the College Football Awards in Atlanta and he reacted to Elliott’s hiring after the awards show.

“He did a great job,” Spurrier said of Elliott. “Really happy for him. Really happy that Shawn’s the new coach at Georgia State.”

While Elliott has garnered the public support from other former South Carolina Gamecocks like Connor Shaw and Patrick DiMarco, some fans criticized the move from athletic director Charlie Cobb, claiming the hire was largely based off of Cobb and Elliott’s relationship at Appalachian State. Cobb spent nine years at Appalachian State, five with Elliott, and both were on the team’s staff during the three consecutive national championship run from 2005-2007.

“If you want to do this job, you have to deal with criticism,” Cobb said. “Many time it’s (criticism) uninformed…I value my position with this university, I value my own career that I’ll find the most qualified person I can find to fill any number amount of roles in our department.”

Cornerback and rising senior Chandon Sullivan was one of the many current Panther football players in attendance, speaking face-to-face with Elliott for one of the first times.

“I like him so far, he seems like he’s a very energetic guy and he’s very positive, so I’m anxious to see how he is on the football field. I’m just ready to get back to work,” Sullivan said.

During the conference, Elliott emphasized the importance of building relationships with Georgia high school coaches as a recruiting technique and said he that will hire the coaching staff that will be the most qualified for each position.

About Rashad Milligan 73 Articles
Rashad Milligan wrote for The Spectator as a sports writer in Sportscenter's Titletown USA of Valdosta, Georgia. At Georgia State, Milligan has volunteered as a reporter and analyst for Primetime Sportz in affliation with GSTV. Milligan has also been featured on NBA.com and describes himself as an "hopeless Atlanta sports fan romantic." Milligan enjoys music and cheering as a member of the Atlanta Hawks sixth man after he joined in 2012. You can follow Milligan on Twitter at @jeff3006.

1 Comment

  1. Shawn Elliot is a man who will give Georgia State full out honest effort and will not take ethical shortcuts in trying to build his program. He relates well with players who want to become better each day and will do the work necessary to make those improvements.
    He will be someone who values input from others but is willing to take responsibility for his decisions . While he was not successful in wins and loses terms at South Carolina last Fall he was successful in keeping a team that was in danger of total disintergration together throughout their remaining schedule ( a real testament to his leadership qualities ).
    Given an honest chance he will be someone Georgia State can be proud to have heading the Panthers.

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