After two weeks of speculation Western Illinois Director of Athletics Matt Tanney confirmed that head football coach Charlie Fisher had accepted the wide receivers coach position at Arizona State. At a Thursday press conference, Tanney also introduced the next Western Illinois Head Football Coach, Jared Elliott.
Elliott, who last season served as the assistant head coach and co-offensive coordinator for the Leathernecks, has spent the previous two years in Macomb on Charlie Fisher's staff. In 2016, he was the quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator for WIU. Prior to that, Elliott was assistant coach and co-offensive coordinator at Carthage College from 2013-15. Elliott also worked at Western in 2012 as an assistant coach, after working as a graduate assistant at Miami (OH) from 2010-11. The Franklin, TN native played at Miami (OH) as a quarterback and wide receiver from 2004 to 2007.
The overwhelming theme from the opening presser was continuity. Tanney said he did not consult with Fisher before making the hire, but the Leatherneck players and coaches spoke highly to him about Elliott and the level of respect they have for him. Elliott harped on the word "foundation," many times, speaking to what Coach Fisher had already established in his two years in Macomb.
Eliott's wife, Jamie, and their three daughters: Ava, Sadie and Clara all sat front row as Coach Elliott emphasized the importance of family in this position. He bluntly stated that "this is not a stepping stone," position for him, and he plans to be in Macomb and achieve sustainable success here.
Elliott indicated that the 2018 recruits that have already signed on are still committed to the program and "want to be at Western." With a staff still in place, Western will continue to fill out the remainder of its recruiting class before the February 7 National Signing Day.
The full press conference can be heard here. Below are the cut up parts of the formal statements from Tanney and Elliott, as well as the question and answer portion.
Tanney and Elliott Statements
Q and A