WIU parts ways with head football coach

Western Illinois University announced Wednesday that Jared Elliott would no longer be its head football coach. (Photo by GoLeathernecks.com)

Western Illinois University announced Wednesday that the school and head football football coach Jared Elliott “have mutually agreed to part ways at the conclusion of the 2021 season.”

That announcement came from Director of Athletics Danielle Surprenant. WIU is in the midst of a rare late-season bye week.

The Leathernecks have a 2-8 record this season heading into their final game Nov. 20 at nationally ranked Northern Iowa. WIU is 2-5 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference with comeback wins over Youngstown State and rival Illinois State.

“Coach Elliott and I agreed that following the Fall 2021 season, the WIU football program would be going in a new direction. This was a difficult decision and one that wasn’t taken lightly,” Surprenant said in a statement posted on the official WIU athletic website.

“Coach Elliott is a great person and is well-respected. I am grateful for his leadership, hard work and commitment to the Leatherneck football program, and we wish him and his family well,” Surprenant’s statement concluded.

Elliott posted the following message on Twitter.

Elliott first came to Macomb as quarterbacks coach in 2012. Following a stint at Carthage from 2013 to 2015, Elliott returned to WIU as an assistant coach under Charlie Fisher in 2016. A former Miami (Ohio) player, Elliott took over as WIU head coach when Fisher left for a position on the Arizona State staff in 2018.

Elliott posted a record of 9-30 in his four seasons while facing the challenge of coaching at a school lacking in resources and facilities when compared to opponents in what is generally recognized as the nation’s best FCS conference.

According to the WIU release, Elliott’s Leatherneck tenure featured nine All-Missouri Valley Football Conference picks, four All-Americans (Phil Steele FCS, STATS FCS, and the Associated Press), and two wins over “Top 25” teams.

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