On Monday, we brought you the story of an Alabama middle school defensive coordinator who had the pluck to send in an unsolicited application to become the next head football coach at LSU. Now we know more about Troy Elliott, particularly that tongue-in-cheek applications to take over Power 5 football programs are a bit of a pastime for him.
As reported by AL.com, Elliott serves as the defensive coordinator at Sardis Middle School in Etowah County, Alabama. He’s the little guy on the right in the photo at the top of this post. He also teaches ninth-grade English at the school, which is apparently where he gets the motivation to throw his hat in the ring for positions that are far beyond his stature. The latest in that mold is the head coach position at LSU, where Elliott sent in a letter of application that referenced Tony Chacheres, bared breasts at Mardi Gras and “carefully eaten grass.” In short, it was a masterpiece.
Perhaps that’s because the English teacher has apparently done this numerous times before. Elliott, who is just 26 (26!), has apparently sent similar letters to Nebraska, Oregon, Oregon State, Miami, Nebraska, Wisconsin and USC. All of those football positions have opened in the past two years, which means he’s spent plenty of time trolling through the backwaters of the internet — and Wikipedia specifically — building up local color references to craft authentic application emails. That outreach also requires the email addresses for athletic directors at the aforementioned schools, which requires crafty researching skills itself.
In case you’re wondering, no, Elliott has not heard anything back from LSU athletic director Joe Alleva. In fact, he’s only heard anything back from one athletic director ever: Auburn’s Jay Jacobs, in reference to a baseball position in 2015.
“(Auburn athletic director) Jay Jacobs is the only who has,” said Elliott, who said he applied for the baseball coaching position when the Tigers fired Sunny Galloway in 2015. “I sent one on behalf of the varsity coach here as a gag. I started with, ‘Hey, JJ, how’s it hanging?’ He replied something like, ‘It is hanging very well, thank you. Thanks for taking the time to compose this.’ Jay is the only one who has hit me back.”
The good news for Elliott is that he’s finally getting some of the comedic attention his efforts deserve. The bad news for athletic directors is the sudden popularity he’s receiving now might spur more imitation letters in the future.
More fun for us, more paperwork for collegiate HR offices. Sounds like a deal.