Texas A&M hires Duke's Elko as head coach
Texas A&M hired Duke sideline boss Mike Elko as its next head coach, the school announced Monday.
The 46-year-old posted a 16-9 record across two seasons at Duke, including a 7-5 campaign in 2023. The 2022 ACC Coach of the Year served as defensive coordinator at Texas A&M from 2018-21 under head coach Jimbo Fisher, whom the Aggies fired on Nov. 12 after six seasons.
The Aggies gave Elko a six-year deal worth $7 million per season and includes significant postseason incentives, according to The Athletic's Sam Khan Jr.
"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."
Elko recruited several players in Texas A&M's top-ranked 2022 recruiting class before becoming the Blue Devils head coach.
The Aggies initially pursued Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops, but the 2018 SEC Coach of the Year opted to stay with the Wildcats.
The Texas A&M position was considered one of the best vacancies in college football. The Aggies finished their regular season with a 7-5 record after suffering a 42-30 loss to LSU on Saturday.
Elko did an impressive job at Duke, helping the Blue Devils go from a 3-9 record in 2021 to a 9-4 campaign in his first year on the job. With him on the sideline, Duke boasted one of the nation's best defenses and allowed 19.8 points per game this season. The team has also given up only 208.3 passing yards per contest.
Texas A&M surrendered 21.3 points per game this season. The Aggies are only three years removed from a 9-1 season under Fisher, whose contract included a $77.5 million buyout - the largest in college football history.