Florida State defensive ends coach D.J. Eliot has done quite a bit of juggling between jobs over the last few weeks. But, as he says, it's the least he could do after everything Florida State has given him.
After FSU defensive coordinator Mark Stoops was named the head coach at Kentucky just three weeks ago, Eliot was the first member Stoops added to his staff. Just a couple days removed from winning an ACC Championship, Stoops named Eliot to become the Wildcats next defensive coordinator.
As soon as that happened, Stoops and his staff instantly hit the road to begin recruiting for the Wildcats as the beginning of the dead period was not far off in the distance.
During that time it was also decided that Eliot would remain with the Seminoles and be the acting defensive coordinator for it's Orange Bowl matchup against Northern Illinois.
Between recruiting for the Wildcats, getting his family ready for a move to Kentucky, and preparing a game plan for the Huskies, Eliot has had more than a full plate.
"Well, I think I broke a record on airline miles," Eliot said. "It's been very busy. I've had a lot of responsibilities on both ends, and there really hasn't been any down time. And I still have a task at hand so I'm still in that grind mode. It's been exciting, but it's also been very challenging to balance two jobs."
But despite that heavy workload, Eliot hasn't wavered one bit and is fully committed to the current task at hand.
"I'm fully committed and focused on winning this game and doing whatever I can," said Eliot.
Coach Eliot has shown that drive and ambition to continue moving up the coaching ranks ever since he was brought to Tallahassee. He has always been grateful for the opportunity he's had to coach at Florida State and it's one that he will ‘cherish forever.'
"Florida State has been a tremendous experience for me, and it's one that I'm going to cherish forever," he said. "I want to finish this thing off right, and that's why I'm working so hard to do that."
Even with the lack of sleep and constant travel, Eliot wouldn't have it any other way. Not only does he want to end his time at FSU the right way for personal reasons, but he also feels he owes that to both head coach Jimbo Fisher, as well as his players.
In his mind, Florida State has done far more for the career of D.J. Eliot than he could ever do for the Florida State brand.
"I always looked at Florida State as a place where they weren't lucky to have me, but I was lucky to have Florida State." Eliot said looking back on his time at FSU. "Coach Fisher took a chance on me. I was a young D-line coach at Rice that did a good job in an interview. So, I tried to repay him everyday with my work. Also, my players mean a tremendous amount to me. They bought in to what we were doing and they've always respected me and done exactly what I've told them to do. So, I wanted them to know that I was going to be here with them until the end as well."