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Tony Elliott explains why he turned down the Vols to stay at Clemson

For the past handful of hiring cycles there have been a few names that have earned an opportunity to be mentioned for some of the most appealing head coaching jobs in college football.

Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott is right up at the top of that list for top-level college jobs, and Dabo Swinney's play caller has also garnered interest among NFL teams as well the last few years.

This past off season, Elliott's name was mentioned after a number of high profile jobs opened, including late in the cycle after Tennessee parted ways with Jeremy Priutt.

Elliott, the 2017 Broyles Award winner, explained his thought process when the Vols came calling with Matt Connolly of The State.

While Elliott was grateful of Tennessee's interest in him, he shared that the opportunity in Knoxville was something he really had to sit down and think and pray about, and after talking to the right people for some direction on the job he ultimately opted to stay at Clemson and was rewarded with a raise that placed him among college football's highest paid coordinators as a part of the coordinator's $2 million club.

"At the end of the day, when I put everything on the table, it just wasn’t the right time. I’m just so happy to be in an environment where people embrace me even though I was going through that. Showing me support one way or another."

"Having an opportunity to have those conversations with coach Swinney just strengthens our relationship even more.”

So what would it take to lure Elliott away from Clemson? He knows, coming from Clemson, that when he decides to leave the expectations are going to be high and he wants a "legitimate opportunity to win," as well as complete alignment from president to athletic director to head coach.

As his explanation of what he's looking for in a head coaching job unfolds in the original piece, it seems clear that not only is he being selective, but he's looking for another version of Clemson in a lot of ways.

“I wanna be in a situation where I can hunker down and really fully invest in the community. Fully invest in the institution. Fully invest in the program. Build something special. Have my family kind of grow up in that community, very similar to how coach Swinney is. So those are the things that I’m looking for. An opportunity to recruit. So just really, bottom line, an opportunity to win and win the right way and have the full support of everybody that touches that program.”

Head here to read the full piece.

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