Bobby Elliott, a veteran assistant coach at several Big 12 programs during an illustrious coaching career, has passed away at the age of 64.
Randy Peterson of the Des Moines Register reported of Elliott’s death earlier this morning.
RIP Bobby Elliott — a great guy, friend and football coach. Ties together both Cy and Hawk. Think of him during this Sept's game.
— Randy Peterson (@RandyPete) July 9, 2017
Elliott, who most recently was a member of Mike Riley’s staff at Nebraska, gamely battled illnesses for many years. He had been a member of Big 12 coaching staffs at Iowa State and Kansas State throughout his career.
— Cyclone Football (@CycloneFB) July 9, 2017
Most recently, Elliott was hired as the Cornhuskers’ safeties coach earlier this year. But he stepped down from that position last month after his health took a bad turn.
Elliott was admitted to hospice care Friday night and died a day later. He had been battling Polycythemia vera, a bone marrow disorder, since 1998.
He was born and raised in Iowa City, Iowa, the son of legendary Iowa athletic director “Bump” Elliott. Bobby Elliott played defensive back for the Hawkeyes from 1972-75.
His coaching career began as a graduate assistant at Iowa in 1976 under Hayden Fry. Elliott then coached college football for 38 years, including stops at Kent State, Ball State, Iowa State, North Carolina, Iowa, Kansas State, San Diego State, Notre Dame and Nebraska.
He was the defensive coordinator on Fry’s final team and appeared to be in line as the logical replacement to follow him. But Elliott’s illness worsened and he couldn’t assume the job at that time. Kirk Ferentz replaced Fry, starting a tenure that is the longest in the nation among FBS head coaches.
Coaching came naturally to Elliott, a wizard in coaching defensive backs. Among his top accomplishments included helping Iowa State to their best stretch since World War II in the early 2000s. From there, he was defensive coordinator on Kansas State’s 2003 Big 12 championship team. Later, his tenure as a defensive backs coach at Notre Dame helped direct the Irish into the 2012 national championship game.
It’s a sad day across the Big 12 with his passing. We express our condolences to his family and friends for their loss.