Cliff Ellis is Clemson winningest coach in Clemson basketball history on a total victories basis (177-128). Hired as Clemson's eighteenth basketball coach, he held the position for ten years, 1984-1994. He took the Tigers to eight post-season tournaments, three NCAAs and five NITs. He coached Clemson to the ACC regular season title in 1989-1990, the only regular season ACC title in Clemson history. The Tigers had a 24-8 record that year. His 1986-1987 team won a record 25 games.
Ellis set 33 Clemson coaching records, including ACC regular season victories, victories at home and home winning percentage. He coached Clemson to three NCAA Tournament appearances in a four-year period (1986-1990). He left Clemson after the 1993-1994 season to become the head coach at Auburn and he took the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament and a top-10 national ranking in 1998-1999.
Ellis won 22 games over top 25 teams in his ten years at Clemson, including an upset of 12th-ranked Florida State in the 1993 ACC Tournament, and a victory over a Number 2-ranked North Carolina team in 1994.
Ellis was named ACC Coach-of-the-Year in 1986-1987 and 1989-1990, the only Clemson coach to win that award. After a short stint in broadcasting, he was hired as head coach at Coastal Carolina in July 2007.