ATLANTA -- The Georgia State Panthers turned to South Carolina assistant Shawn Elliott to turn around a program that hasn't had a winning season since moving up to college football's top division.
Elliott coached the offensive line and served as co-offensive coordinator for the Gamecocks, where he worked the last seven years under Steve Spurrier and current head coach Will Muschamp.
Elliott also served as South Carolina's interim head coach in 2015, going 1-5 after Spurrier retired midway through the season.
The hiring comes at a critical time for Georgia State's program, which has struggled to make its mark on the crowded Atlanta sports scene.
The Panthers are moving to Turner Field next season, taking over the stadium that served as the Braves' baseball home for the last 20 years. Georgia State plans to downsize it into a 23,000-seat football stadium, providing a much more intimate atmosphere that the 70,000-seat Georgia Dome.
But the Panthers have rarely drawn even 10,000 to a game since launching their program in 2010. They went 6-5 as an FCS school their debut season, but have not had a winning record since. Georgia State is 10-39 since joining the Sun Belt Conference in 2013.
"We set out to find a head coach who will energize our program and assemble a coaching staff that will recruit the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia with zeal. Shawn Elliott is the perfect coach to do just that," athletic director Charlie Cobb said.
Before his tenure with the Gamecocks, Elliott served 13 seasons as an assistant coach at Appalachian State, his alma mater. A native of Camden, South Carolina, he was an integral part of three consecutive NCAA FCS titles from 2005-07 as well as the Mountaineers' historic upset at Michigan in 2007.
Elliott replaces Trent Miles, who was fired with two games to go in his fourth season. Miles had a record of 9-38 with the Panthers, though he did lead them to their first bowl appearance in 2015. Tim Lappano served as interim coach the final two games.
"Coach Elliott is a leader and a winner," Cobb said, "and we look forward to introducing him to the Panther family and getting started on a very exciting 2017 year for Georgia State football."