Cavalier Corner

February 2022

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10 CAVALIER CORNER BY JEFF WHITE T ony Elliott moved into the head football coach's office in the Mc- Cue Center around the start of the New Year. Two weeks later, its walls were still mostly bare, and few per- sonal touches were visible. He's had more pressing concerns since being named Bronco Mendenhall's succes- sor at UVA. "It's been a whirlwind," Elliott said. "The days, they're long, but they go by so fast. It's just that there's constantly something to be done. It's different than being in an as- sistant's seat. "As an assistant or coordinator, your day is pretty much structured. When you sit in the head coach's seat, you have an idea of what you want to get accomplished, and then you're just reacting to whatever walks through your door." Mendenhall, who was in his sixth year at UVA, announced on Dec. 2 that he would step down as head coach after his team's bowl game later that month. His decision, which was unexpected, necessitated a coaching search that ended with Elliott's hiring on Dec. 10. Not long after that, Elliott and Menden- hall began meeting in the mornings to dis- cuss the state of the program. "The first two weeks were more observa- tion and just trying to evaluate and learn as much as I could about what Bronco had established, what the processes are for the University, for the football program, for the athletic department," Elliott said. In the evenings, he concentrated initially on putting together his new staff. Since late December, Elliott said, he's been "focus- ing on recruiting and starting to do some program installation with the staff members that are already in place. It's been some- thing new every single day." Mendenhall's final game as UVA's coach was supposed to take place on Dec. 29 against SMU at the inaugural Wasabi Fenway Bowl in Boston. Three days before the game, however, the Cavaliers withdrew because of COVID-19 issues in the program, and the bowl was canceled. 'GOT OUR GUY' Fralin Family Head Football Coach Tony Elliott Is A Proven Champion, An Offensive Mastermind And A Developer Of NFL Talent UVA president Jim Ryan (left) and athletics director Carla Williams (right) believe that Elliott is a perfect fit for their football program. During his time at Clemson, Elliott helped the Tigers win six ACC championships, make six appearances in the College Football Playoff, and capture national titles in 2016 and 2018. (Photo by Matt Riley/courtesy UVA)

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