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Former Auburn coach Cliff Ellis has replaced former Tennessee coach Buzz Peterson as Coastal Carolina's head basketball coach.
AP photo
Former Auburn coach Cliff Ellis has replaced former Tennessee coach Buzz Peterson as Coastal Carolina's head basketball coach.

Cliff Ellis back in game as Coastal Carolina coach

CONWAY, S.C. (AP) — Cliff Ellis was hired as Coastal Carolina's basketball coach Monday, succeeding Buzz Peterson at a school that finished 15-15 last year.

Ellis, a former Auburn and Clemson coach, signed a five-year contract, the school said.

"What I see here is a tremendous opportunity," Ellis said. "I see the potential to have a vision where we can move forward."

Ellis said his past several years working as a television analyst gave him the chance to examine other teams' strategies, and that he was excited to get back to coaching at Coastal.

"What I want to do is make a difference," he said. "My vision is to take this program to the top."

Ellis was among five finalists for the job vacated last month by Peterson, who left the Chanticleers after two seasons to become player personnel director for the Charlotte Bobcats. Another finalist was former Alabama head coach and Kentucky assistant coach David Hobbs.

The 61-year-old Ellis has a Division I record of 534-337. His last coaching job ended in 2004 at Auburn, where he went 186-125 and led the Tigers to the NCAA tournament's round of 16 in his second-to-last season.

Cliff Ellis at a glance

  • Coached South Alabama during 1975-84 and won at least 20 games three times. Earned two NCAA bids.

  • Coached Clemson during 1984-94 and won the ACC championship in 1990.

  • Coached Auburn during 1994-2004 and won an SEC title in 1999. Took his team to the NCAAs three times.

    Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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