Being the head coach of a college football program just doesn’t seem to hold the same weight that it used to.

Already this offseason, multiple head coaches of power conference teams surrendered head coaching duties in order to serve as coordinators in either the NFL or at another college program.

And two former Group of Five head coaches left their posts to become co-defensive coordinators at Alabama.

The most extreme move, though, may have happened Thursday. First reported by 247Sports’ Matt Zenitz, Georgia State head coach Shawn Elliott is leaving his program to take a job as the tight ends coach and run game coordinator at South Carolina.

It is a move that caught many off guard, as the Panthers had already begun spring football and have now had to suspend practice and the spring football game with Elliott’s departure.

247 Sports’ Brandon Marcello noted, “Never seen anything like this before.”

Elliott was a fairly successful G5 head coach at Georgia State for seven seasons, winning 41 games, with five winning seasons, although he held a sub-.500 record (41-44).

Most recently, he led the Panthers against Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, and despite being seriously undermanned due to NCAA transfer portal defections, Georgia State handled the Aggies, 45-22.

Where’s the joy gone? With college football in disarray, coaches are heading for the exit

Elliott does have ties to the Gamecocks. He previously worked for former USC head coach Steve Spurrier and Will Muschamp, from 2010 until 2016. When Spurrier stepped down as the program’s head coach in the middle of the 2015 season, Elliott was named South Carolina’s interim head coach.

Per ESPN’s Matt Barrie, Elliott’s motivation for leaving Georgia State had to do with program-building challenges brought on by NIL, i.e., player retention, though On3 Sports’ Jesse Simonton speculated that Elliott’s move to South Carolina has less to do with NIL and the transfer portal, and more to do with his team likely struggling in 2024.

“I don’t doubt that NIL/transfer portal played a factor in why Shawn Elliott left Georgia State, but all these head coaches resigning for lesser jobs have one thing in common — their teams were probably going to stink in 2024,” he wrote.

Simonton’s opinion carried weight with other college football pundits, with Alex Kirshner writing, “I feel very strongly that we cannot let Shawn Elliott get away with this explanation. They were swimming in mediocrity and he was one of the most fireable guys in the country heading into next season. He’s getting ahead of that. Still going to have to recruit as an SEC assistant.”

Whatever the reason, Elliott’s move from the Group of Five ranks is just another in a growing list of former head coaches leaving programs for coordinator or position coaching roles elsewhere.