AH podcast: Chuck Long pays tribute to Bobby Elliott


IOWA CITY, Iowa - Bobby Elliott's death has left both Hawkeye and Cyclone fans in a state of depression.

The former Iowa defensive back, who coached at both Iowa and Iowa State, died on Saturday after a nearly two-decade-long fight against a rare form of blood cancer. He was just 64 years old and was loved and respected by many, including former Iowa All-America quarterback Chuck Long.

Long joins us on this podcast to reflect on Elliott's legacy and about their close friendship. Long credits Elliott for convincing Hayden Fry to hire Long as the Iowa defensive backs coach in 1995. Long had no coaching experience at the time.

Long then returned the favor by hiring Elliott as his defensvie coordinator at San Diego State, where Long was the head coach from 2006-08.

Long speaks for nearly 30 minutes about Elliott's life on and off the football field.

Elliott died in Hospice after spending the past few weeks in Iowa City. His toughness, courage and determination touched fans from both Iowa and Iowa State, and also left a lasting impression on friends and co-workers, who were one in the same.

In addition to Long, former Iowa basketball player and life-long Iowa City resident Miek Gatens also calls into the podcast to pay tribute to Elliott.

The Elliott family moved to Iowa City from Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1970 after Bobby's father, Chalmers "Bump" Elliott was hired as the Iowa Athletic Director, a position he held until retiring in June 1991. Bump Elliott was the head football coach at Michigan before taking the job at Iowa. He also was a star running back for the Wolverines, but Bump's loyalty shifted after he moved to Iowa City, where he still lives today.

Bobby Elliott was about midway through his senior year of high when his family moved to Iowa City. He attended Iowa City West where he met Gatens, who was the star of the basketball team and a future Hawkeye.

Gatens tells the story about when he first met Elliott in high school and about how Bobby joined the West High basketball during the season and then made a huge impact despite getting little playing time. Gatens says on the podcast that Elliott was the team's most valuable player as a reserve because of his work ethic and leadership.

The last two decades of Elliott's life were a struggle from a physical standpoint, but he didn't let that stop him from coaching. Elliott had the distinction of being the associate head coach at both Iowa and Iowa State, where he coached under his former Hawkeye teammate and close friend, Dan McCarney. 

It's hard to use the word enjoy when the subject matter is so depressing, so we won't in reference to this podcast. But we think you will appreciate the insight from both Long and Gatens.

Bobby Elliott touched both of their lives and you'll hear how on this podcast.