Coach Elliott resigns from HC position, Spring Football postponed

Feb. 15, Head Coach Shawn Elliott resigned from his duties after seven seasons as Georgia State Football’s head coach. Elliott posted a 41-44 record at Georgia State, leading the Panthers to a 4-1 bowl record in his tenure. The decision came early Thursday morning, just three days into the GSU Spring Football season.


Following his resignation, Elliott was hired by the University of South Carolina as TE Coach. Before coming to Georgia State in 2017, Coach Elliott served various coaching roles at South Carolina, beginning in 2010 as an OL Coach. Elliott was highly respected at the U of S.C., stepping into the interim HC role when HOF Coach Steve Spurrier resigned in 2015.


Upon his resignation, Coach Elliott issued a statement on his departure, citing the decision as “something that [he] must do personally.” Throughout his seven years at GSU, he and his family remained at their home in Columbia. Both of Elliott’s children attend high school in Columbia. They are set to graduate in the coming years, a factor Elliott cited in his return to the University of South Carolina. 


As a result of Elliott’s departure, GSU Director of Athletics Charlie Cobb issued a statement postponing the spring football season:


“Georgia State Athletics has received a waiver from the NCAA to pause spring football practice as we continue our coaching search.”


Unfortunately, Elliott’s decision came somewhat unexpectedly after he led the Panthers to a 7-6 record in 2023, with an impressive 5-1 start and bowl game victory. 


While the team will continue individual/team workouts, GSU cannot host any official team practices in compliance with NCAA regulations on off-season training until their Spring Football season returns. 


Being an OL coach at heart, Elliott instilled a run-heavy approach in his time at GSU, most recently having coached RB Marcus Carroll to 1,350 rushing yards in 12 games (6th in FBS yards per game) this 2023 season. The Panthers’ offense grew tremendously under Elliott, wearing down defenses with a disciplined rush attack and strategic passes sprinkled within. In Elliott’s first season at GSU, 2017, the Panthers scored just 22.2 points per game, an all-time low since the team’s inauguration in 2012. Into Elliott’s second season as Head Coach, Elliott sought his new QB in Dan Ellington, who would later work under Elliott’s GSU coaching tree as an RB/TE Coach (2020-2024). Despite an underwhelming 2018 season, the tempo of Georgia State’s offense increased tremendously into 2019, as Elliott developed a heavy balanced rushing attack. This fast-paced scheme splits up carries between RB and QB, forcing defenses to respect multiple rushing threats on any given play. With this new scheme, Elliott transformed the young program into a Sun Belt Conference contender, posting a school-record of 33.3 points per game in 2020. 


Though former Head Coach Elliott is now far from Atlanta, his efforts should continue to impact the culture, traditions, coaches, and players at Georgia State for years to come as the Panthers usher in a new era under new head coach Dell McGee.