STATESBORO – Georgia State head coach Shawn Elliott knows all about the challenges of being an interim head coach.
When Steve Spurrier shockingly resigned as South Carolina’s head coach midway through the 2015 season after the Gamecocks fell to 2-4, his offensive coordinator, Elliott, was charged with keeping the team afloat.
Elliott made no bones about it in a phone interview on Wednesday: a football team is very fragile without its head coach, and if the interim isn’t careful, he can lose control quickly.
Elliott said assistant coaches are the glue that keeps everything together in such a situation, and that’s the best piece of advice he can offer Georgia Southern interim head coach Chad Lunsford.
As was the case with Spurrier, Georgia Southern was left with an interim head coach six games into the season, only former coach Tyson Summers was dismissed after an 0-6 start.
The Eagles are looking for their first win of the season as they host Elliott’s Panthers at 3 p.m. today at Paulson Stadium. The Panthers (4-3) have won four of their last five games and are hovering near the top of the Sun Belt with a 3-1 league record.
At opposite ends of a young but heated rivalry, old friends Lunsford and Elliott and worked together as assistant coaches at Appalachian State during the 2001 and 2002 seasons.