Clemson University

This Clemson football assistant is No. 1 in country as being ‘ready for a top job’

Tony Elliott on what he has seen from Clemson’s offense so far

Clemson OC Tony Elliott talks offense, running backs
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Clemson OC Tony Elliott talks offense, running backs

Brent Venables is the Clemson football assistant whose name has been tossed around for head coaching gigs the most over the past several offseasons.

But it is another Clemson coach who was recently named the top assistant coach who is on the rise.

Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports ranked the top 20 assistant coaches ready for a top job, and Elliott is No. 1 on the list.

Elliott had talks with UCF about becoming their head coach during the offseason but ultimately stayed with the Tigers when Josh Heupel got the job instead.

Elliott said later that he found out during the process that he was not ready to be a head coach, and according to Thamel, Elliott spent some time in the months that followed working to better prepare himself to be ready when another opportunity comes.

According to Thamel, “Elliott spent time developing relationships with agents this offseason but has yet to choose one. Elliott went to the convention for National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics to take part in the Champion Forum, a development program for high-performing minority coaches. He also spent time networking with search firms to better understand the interview process and what it entails to become a head coach.”

Venables was also on the list, ranked No. 13, and Thamel admitted that Venables would be much higher on the list if he had not shown that he is going to be very picky if and when he takes a head coaching job.

Venables recently received a raise and an extension, although there is no buyout if he leaves Clemson for a head coaching job. His son Jake is a freshman linebacker for the Tigers, which makes it even more likely that he does not leave anytime soon.