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Battle hires former Mizzou football player as new coach

Battle has hired Atiyyah Ellison as its new football coach. The 37-year-old will replace Justin Conyers, who recently left to become the head football coach Hallsville.

“It’s kind of overwhelming. It comes full circle. I struggled a little bit in school before I got to Mizzou. I had to keep working. I went to junior college and that whole nine. Your education is always going to be there. Your athletic days are numbered. Like I said, I’m going to keep pushing the academic side,” Ellison said.

Ellison was a defensive lineman for Mizzou from 2002-04. Carolina selected him in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft. Ellison played for multiple teams in his five-year NFL career – including Kansas City, New England and San Francisco.

“We’re not going to reinvent the wheel here. We did a lot of stuff well here. Like I said, my focus is going to be more on holding them accountable in the classroom and off the field. We know they can play football, but we want to make them better people.”

The St. Louis native returned to Columbia after his professional football career ended. Ellison has been an assistant coach for the Spartans since the program began in 2013. He was on staff for Battle’s first ever state championship in 2014. Ellison has primarily worked with the defensive line.

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