NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Bob Elliott, a 33-year coaching veteran that has developed All-Americans and NFL Draft picks throughout his career, was named safeties coach at the University of Notre Dame today.
"My family and I are excited to be part of this great university," Elliott said. "I grew up in the Midwest and have spent much my life in this region and always wondered what it would be like to coach at Notre Dame. This was an opportunity that I couldn't pass up and am happy to be associated with this great place."
Elliott has spent 29 of his 33 seasons coaching defense, primarily as a defensive backs coach or defensive coordinator. He served as defensive coordinator for a combined 11 seasons at San Diego State, Kansas State, Iowa and Ball State.
"I couldn't be more excited about bringing Bob Elliott to Notre Dame," head coach Brian Kelly said. "At his core, Bob is an outstanding teacher and tactician. He has had great success developing top-tier defensive backs and his experience as a defensive coordinator will complement our coaching staff. Bobby has a long-standing relationship with Bob Diaco and Kerry Cooks so the transition to our staff should be extremely smooth. I know our safeties will love playing for him."
Elliott has had three two-year coaching stints at Iowa State in the last 30 years and most recently served as the Cyclones' secondary coach from 2010-11. Elliott helped improve a pass defense that ranked 84th in pass efficiency defense the season before he arrived to 46th this year. He also helped Iowa State move up 29 spots in the pass defense rankings from 2009 to 2011.
Cyclones cornerback Leonard Johnson earned second-team all-Big 12 honors in 2010 and2011. Safety Ter'Ran Benton was an honorable mention all-Big 12 selection in 2011 and safety David Sims totaled 96 tackles in 11 games en route to earning all-Big 12 honorable mention accolades in 2010.
Elliott was assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for three seasons at SanDiego State from 2006-08. In his final season, Elliott added the duties of inside linebackers coach. He worked in the Aztecs athletics department in 2009.
Elliott was the first hire by then-head coach Chuck Long at San Diego State. In hisfirst two seasons with the Aztecs, San Diego State had the top tackler in Mountain West Conference games as Joe Martin averaged 10.0 tackles per game in 2006 and Russell Allen recorded 10.6 tackles per contest in 2007.
In his first year at San Diego State, the Aztecs allowed only 171.0 passing yards per game and ranked second in pass defense in the Mountain West Conference. The Aztecs allowed scores on only 67.3 percent of opponent red zone trips to rank second in the conference.
Elliott was defensive coordinator at Kansas State from 2002-05 and helped the Wildcats to a 31-19 record, including four wins over nationally-ranked opponents. K-State recorded two 11-win seasons, claimed the school's lone Big 12championship and advanced to the 2003 Fiesta Bowl – the only BCS bowl appearance in school history.
Prior to Kansas State, Elliott served his second two-year coaching stint at Iowa State. From 2000-01, he was the associate head coach and worked with the Cyclones secondary and coordinated the special teams.
Elliott was a member of the Iowa athletics department from 1987-99. He was on Hayden Fry's coaching staff from 1987-94 and from 1996-98. In 1999, Elliott served as a special assistant to Iowa athletics director Bob Bowlsby. Elliott was executive director of the University of Iowa Alumni Association in 1995.
An alumnus of the University of Iowa, Elliott was secondary coach from 1987-94. He returned as defensive coordinator from 1996-98 and added the title assistant head coach in 1998. Elliott's position group focus switched to the Hawkeyes outside linebackers from 1996-98.
A captain on the 1997 Iowa team was defensive back Kerry Cooks, current co-defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach at Notre Dame. Cooks was one of four team MVPs in 1997. Current Notre Dame assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Bob Diaco was a graduate assistant under Elliott from 1996-97 after playing for the Hawks from 1991-95.
Elliott's only stint coaching offense came at North Carolina from 1983-86 when he coached the wide receivers and tight ends.
Prior to North Carolina, Elliott made his first stop at Iowa State as the secondary coach from 1981-82. The Cyclones pass defense in 1982 led the Big Eight andproduced professionals Ron Osborne and John Arnaud.
Elliott earned his first defensive coordinator position at Ball State in 1980 afterserving as the Cardinals' secondary coach the previous two seasons.
His first full-time coaching job was as the secondary coach at Kent State in 1977 and he served as a graduate assistant at Iowa in 1976.
The son of former Iowa athletics director Bump Elliott graduated with high distinction from Iowa in 1976 with a bachelor's degree in history. He earned three letters on the Hawkeye football team as a defensive back in 1972, 1974-75.
Born May 6, 1953, Elliott and his wife Joey have two children, Grant and Jessica.