WIU Football: Fisher exits, Elliott takes over as Leathernecks f - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

WIU Football: Fisher exits, Elliott takes over as Leathernecks football coach

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WIU athletic director Matt Tanney (left) introduced Jared Elliott (right) as the new head coach of the football program Thursday morning. WIU athletic director Matt Tanney (left) introduced Jared Elliott (right) as the new head coach of the football program Thursday morning.

MACOMB, IL. (WGEM) -- The last time Western Illinois had a head coaching search concerning its football program the transition lasted three weeks.

Two years later and athletic director Matt Tanney once again needed new leadership on the gridiron, only this time the hunt was much quicker.

Only hours after Charlie Fisher made it clear to Tanney that was he was bound for Arizona State Western held a press conference naming assistant head coach and co-offensive coordinator Jared Elliott as Fisher's replacement.

It will be Elliott's first stint as a head coach but he says he's ready.

"This is a challenge. It's a huge challenge for me and our football program always in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. But I'll tell you this: I'm more than ready for the challenge. I just needed an opportunity," Elliott said.

"I think people can pretty quickly realize I don't have the biggest resume. I'm not the guy who's the sexiest guy on paper. But I'm the best hire and I'm the right hire."

Elliott's past includes playing college football at Miami (Ohio) and assistant roles at his alma mater and Carthage College. He's in the midst of his second stint in Macomb after spending the 2012 season on the Leathernecks staff.

He spent the last two years serving under Fisher, including working with the quarterbacks.

Both Elliott and Tanney view this hire as one that will be long term.

"This program is built on valuing the experience of our student athletes, and in my conversations with Jared he gets that, and him and I are on the same page when it comes to what it means to our student athletes, what it means to be the head football coach at Western Illinois University, and what it means to be a member of the Macomb community," Tanney indicated.

According to Elliott: "This is a dream job for me. I'm at a position right now in my career where I want to take this program and elevate it to the highest level that we can."

Elliott adds that he plans to build on the foundation that's already been laid and the Leathernecks will play a tough, relentless brand of football.

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