|Position:||Assistant Coach / QBs|
Phillip Ely joined the Catamount football coaching staff in mid-March 2019 as the program’s next quarterbacks’ coach. Ely comes to Cullowhee after two years as the quarterback's coach and a co-offensive coordinator at Tiffin University.
Ely earned his coaching start as a graduate assistant at Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, first on the defensive side of the ball with the secondary before moving back to offense where he mentored with the Cyclones’ quarterbacks and wide receivers. From there, Ely landed the quarterbacks coach and co-coordinator role at Tiffin University that also included play-calling duties.
In his first season at Tiffin, Ely coordinated a passing attack that featured a freshman QB in Nick Watson who went on to complete nearly 61-percent of his passes for 2,124 yards and 12 touchdowns. Last season, Tiffin averaged 30.4 points and 271.2 yards passing per game, throwing for just shy of 3,000 yards collectively as a team. Watson improved to 65-percent passing with 23 TD strikes against just eight interceptions, collecting All-Great Midwest Conference honors.
In 2018, Tiffin opened the year with nine consecutive wins and its highest national ranking at No. 15, but just missed the postseason following a pair of consecutive losses in the final two weeks of the season.
A two-time graduate of the University of Toledo, Ely was a two-year starter on a pair of bowl championship teams in the Rockets’ fast-tempo, spread offense. Twice elected team captain, Ely threw for over 3,000 yards and 23 touchdowns against only 10 interceptions in 2015, collecting All-Mid-American Conference honors. He guided the Rockets to an 11-2 record including wins over No. 12 Arkansas and No. 21 Temple, the latter victory coming in the Boca Raton Bowl in which he collected MVP honors. He parlayed that season into an invite to NFL preseason camps with both the Tennessee Titans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the spring of 2016.
Ely began his collegiate career at the University of Alabama as a highly touted recruit from Plant High in Tampa, Fla., where he played in three state championships, winning a pair of Florida state titles. He was additionally dubbed a U.S. Army All-American as a prep. Ely played in seven games in 2012 for the Crimson Tide while serving as the back-up to A.J. McCarron for two seasons.