Clemson Offensive Coordinator Tony Elliott Will Miss Sugar Bowl Vs. Ohio State Due To COVID-19 Protocols

By Colin Hass-Hill on December 30, 2020 at 2:41 pm
Tony Elliott
Ken Ruinard via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Clemson will be without a key coach on Friday.

Offensive coordinator and running backs coach Tony Elliott will miss the Sugar Bowl due to COVID-19 protocols, the Tigers announced on Wednesday. He will not travel with the rest of team to New Orleans later on Wednesday afternoon. 

Thus, Clemson will face Ohio State without the luxury of having its 2017 Broyles Award-winning coordinator who has called plays all season on the sideline. He's barred from having communication with the rest of the coaches during the game, leaving head coach Dabo Swinney to figure out how the offense will operate without Elliott to rely on.

As of now, it's unclear whether or not Elliott tested positive for COVID-19 or whether it has affected anybody else within the program. Both Ohio State and Clemson will release their status reports on Friday at some point before the game.

Elliott, who spoke to the media as part of a regularly scheduled press conference on Tuesday, has been at Clemson since 2011. The 41-year-old assistant become a walk-on team captain as a senior when playing for the Tigers from 2000 to 2003, and three years later he began a coaching career that hasn't ever taken him out of the state of South Carolina. After stints at South Carolina State and Furman, he joined Clemson's coaching staff in 2011 as running backs coach. He then was promoted by Swinney to co-offensive coordinator in 2015 before becoming the sole offensive coordinator earlier this year when fellow co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott left for South Florida.

Since Elliott began his coordinating duties a half-decade ago, the Sugar Bowl will be the first time Swinney won't have him in the stadium for a game. 

Ohio State-Clemson is slated to kick off at 8 p.m. on ESPN with a national championship berth on the line.

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