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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Duke’s Mike Elko expected to be named next A&M football head coach

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Photo by Photo by Abbey Santoro

Defensive Coordinator/Safeties coach Mike Elko will be entering into his fourth season with the Aggies. 

Duke coach Mike Elko is expected to be named the next head coach of Texas A&M football, according to Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle. Elko takes over the program from interim head coach Elijah Robinson, who stepped into the role after the firing of Jimbo Fisher on Sunday, Nov. 12.
Zwerneman reported that an official announcement of Elko’s hiring could come within the next 24 hours. He also reported that Robinson is expected to remain on staff. The hiring comes after initial reports this weekend that A&M would hire Kentucky’s Mark Stoops to lead the program.
Elko, 46, is in his second year leading the Blue Devils and returns to College Station after serving as the Aggies’ defensive coordinator from 2018 to 2021. Duke has gone 16-9 under Elko’s watch, including a 7-5 mark this season while reaching No. 16 in the AP Top 25. The Blue Devils took down Pittsburgh 30-19 to wrap up the regular season.
Following a 3-9 campaign in 2021 with an 0-8 mark in ACC play, Elko led the Blue Devils to a 9-4 record in 2022 with a 5-3 showing in conference action. The overall record improvement was the second-best in ACC history, including the best turnaround in conference play in league history. He was named ACC Coach of the Year for his efforts.
After ranking 102nd in scoring offense and 127th in scoring defense in 2021, the Blue Devils improved 31st in the nation in both categories in Elko’s first season in Durham, North Carolina. Duke’s turnover margin improved from 108th to second in the country during that time.
Elko’s second stint in Aggieland comes after spending four seasons as Fisher’s defensive coordinator. In that time, A&M went 34-14 while qualifying for a bowl game each season. The Aggies ranked No. 3 in scoring defense in 2021 as Elko was named a finalist for the Broyles Award for the top assistant coach in college football.
He was named a semifinalist for the award in 2017 in his lone season as Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator, when the Fighting Irish went 10-3 with the nation’s No. 31 scoring defense.
From 2014 to 2016, Elko served as defensive coordinator at Wake Forest, where the Demon Deacons put together the No. 20 scoring defense in college football in 2016.
After a playing career at Penn, Elko began coaching as a graduate assistant at Stony Brook in 1999. Following stops at Penn, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy as defensive coordinator, Fordham and Richmond, he was defensive coordinator at Hofstra from 2006 to 2008 and Bowling Green from 2009 to 2013.
The Elko Era will begin on Aug. 31, 2024, when Notre Dame visits Kyle Field.

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