Auburn Head Coach Cliff Ellis To Be Inducted Into Mobile Sports Hall Of Fame Wednesday
April 22, 2003 Cliff Ellis
171-84 record where he spent nine seasons from 1975-84.
When Ellis became head coach in 1975, the administrators at South Alabama were thinking of dropping to Div. II. Four years later, he had the Jaguars in the NCAA Tournament and six seasons later, they were ranked in the nation's top 10.
"Mobile brings back a lot of memories," Ellis said. "It was a great time. It is a great sports city, and when you look at the people that are in this, I am overwhelmed by it and very appreciative of the people for even considering me. It is truly an honor because Mobile is a great sports city.
"I owe a lot to it. I was 29 years of age when I went there, and they gave me an opportunity to grow as a young coach. It is a special city, and it is truly an honor to me."
Ellis, who also was the athletic director during part of his tenure, led the Jaguars to three Sun Belt titles, two NCAA Tournament appearances and two NITs.
The Chipley, Fla., native claimed his 500th career Div. I coaching victory in a 100-71 win over Georgia State Nov. 26, 2002, to become only the 34th coach to reach the milestone since the NCAA started Div. I play in 1948-49. The 28-year Div. I coaching veteran is ranked 16th among active coaches with 520 victories.
Ellis was named the 1999 John and Nellie Wooden National Coach of the Year as well as 1999 National Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, United States Basketball Writers Association, Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News and Basketball News. Ellis, who was a consensus SEC Coach of the Year in 1999, has been named SEC Coach of the Year twice
(1995 and 1999) at Auburn.
He led the Tigers to the 1999 SEC Championship with a 29-4 record, the state of Alabama record for most wins. The Tigers reached the Sweet 16 this season for the second time in five years, and Auburn's 22-12 record marked the third-most wins in school history. Along with the 24-10 record and NCAA Tournament second round appearance in 1999-2000, Ellis has coached Auburn to the top three single-season victory marks in school history.
Ellis led Clemson to its one and only ACC Championship in history in 1990 and was a two-time ACC Coach of the Year (1987 and 1990) as well as the 1979 Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year.
Ellis is also the winningest coach in Clemson history (177-128) and is on his way to becoming the all-time victory leader at Auburn (172-110) while making his 19th trip to postseason play this past season.
The ceremony at the Mobile Marriott Hotel begins with the reception at 6 pm and the dinner program at 7 pm.