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Texas A&M hires Duke’s Mike Elko as next head football coach

The former Aggies defensive coordinator to make return to College Station after two seasons as the Blue Devils HC.
Posted: 4:19 PM, Nov 26, 2023
Updated: 2023-11-27 17:40:55-05
Mike Elko.jpg




COLLEGE STATION, Texas — It's official.

Texas A&M has hired Duke head coach Mike Elko as the Aggies next head football coach, the university announced Monday.

“Coach Mike Elko is one of the best leaders and coaches in college football and has had high-level success at each stop of his career,” Athletic Director Ross Bjork said. “He is known amongst coaching circles as one of the best defensive minds in the country and has shown his ability to lead and turn around a program as a Power 5 head coach.”

A Welcome Celebration will be held at Kyle Field’s Ford Hall of Champions (Entry 3) off Wellborn Road at 3 p.m. on Monday. The general public is welcome to attend.

Before it was official, Elko had informed his Duke team that a decision would be made in 24 hours.

This news coming after it was rumored on Saturday night that A&M was set to hire Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops as the next head coach. It was later reported that Stoops would be staying in Lexington.

Here’s Stoops statement on Twitter late Saturday night:

Sunday afternoon Elko emerged as the Aggies top candidate and the former A&M defensive coordinator would likely be coming back to College Station as the next head coach.

Elko was named Duke University’s 22nd head football coach in December of 2021, and in his first season led the Blue Devils to nine regular season victories to garner ACC Coach of the Year honors.

With over two decades of coaching experience, Elko has coached in nine bowl games, helped two different teams to NCAA Division I-AA quarterfinal appearances and been part of four league championship squads.

Prior to Duke, Elko spent four seasons as the defensive coordinator and safeties coach at Texas A&M University under head coach Jimbo Fisher. While there, Elko helped lead the Aggies to a 34-14 (.708) record and four consecutive bowl games.

In his final season with A&M,Elko was named a semifinalist for the Frank Broyles Award, which is given annually to the top assistant coach in college football, for the second time in his career after mentoring the group to the No. 3 national ranking in scoring defense, allowing just 15.92 points per game, as well as the No. 9 pass efficiency defense (112.00) and No. 7 red zone defense (.710). Texas A&M also ranked seventh in the country by allowing just 4.66 yards per play, tied for 10th in fourth down defense (.353), tied for 12th in total sacks (39.0) and defensive touchdowns (3), 16th in third down defense (.328) and 20th in total defense (327.5).

Elko has also had stops at Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Bowling Green, Hofstra, and Fordham. the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, his alma mater University of Pennsylvania, and Stony Brook.