Coastal’s Ellis makes return to Auburn with new school

ccuhoops-ellisbigCoastal Carolina basketball coach Cliff Ellis returns to his old stomping grounds with his new team on Friday night.

Coastal Carolina travels to Auburn, where Ellis coached the Tigers from 1994 through 2004. His Chanticleers will take on the Bruce Peal-led Tigers of the SEC at 9 p.m. The game can be viewed throughout the Southeast on Fox Sports South (HTC Channel 48, TWC Channel 52).

The Chanticleers are 0-1 all-time against the Auburn Tigers. The teams met on Dec. 17, 1995, in Auburn with the Tigers winning 82-66. Ellis was in his second season as Auburn’s head coach at the time before leading Auburn to deep runs in the NCAA Tournament. He led Coastal to its first NCAA appearance in 21 years last season.

Ellis is 2-0 all-time against Auburn. He led South Alabama to a 95-73 victory during the 1983 Colonial Classic in Mobile, Ala. Ellis’ second win against Auburn came by way of a 84-72 decision on March 18, 1993 as the head coach of Clemson.

Friday’s contest marks Ellis’ first return to Auburn since departing the university following the 2004 season. Ellis led the Tigers to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament in 1999. Ellis was also named the 1999 AP National Coach of the Year. In all, Ellis complied 177-128 overall record, won the 1999 SEC regular season title and took the Tigers to three NCAA Tournaments (1999, 2000, 2003).

Friday will not be coach Ellis’ first time leading Coastal against one of his former programs. Ellis has led the Chanticleers against Clemson, which he coached from 1984-94, three times. Coastal and Clemson first met with Ellis on the sideline on Nov. 22, 2011, in the Tigers’ Littlejohn Coliseum. Coastal would win the game 60-59  on a Chris Gradnigo tip-in as time expired.

The Chants then hosted Clemson on Dec. 19, 2012 and handily defeated the Tigers 69-46 in front of a capacity crowd at The HTC Center. Clemson took the final game of the three-game series with a 69-40 home win last season.

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