Published by: AK98
Texas A&M Breaking News
Texas A&M backslid into a former flame in their search for “the right match” with their head coaching vacancy. A&M slid into the DM’s of their former defensive coordinator (and now-former head coach of Duke) Mike Elko.
Elko has been appointed as the new head football coach at Texas A&M, a decision announced by Athletic Director Ross Bjork. Elko, who previously worked under now-fired head coach Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M, left for the head coaching position at Duke two years ago. His tenure as coordinator at Texas A&M included notable achievements, such as helping them reach a 9-1 record in the 2020 season that was capped off with a victory in the Orange Bowl.
Bjork commended Elko’s strategic vision for the future of Aggie football, highlighting his commitment to innovation and excellence. In a recent statement, Bjork had this to say of Elko:
“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. 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 press conference to formally introduce Elko is planned for Monday afternoon.
Texas A&M’s performance has seen a decline since Elko’s departure following the 2021 season. The team recorded a 12-12 record over the past two seasons, leading to the school’s decision to release coach Jimbo Fisher with a record $76 million buyout.
Elko quickly proved his capabilities as a head coach at Duke, achieving one of college football’s most significant turnarounds in the 2022 season. Duke improved to a 9-4 record in Elko’s inaugural season from a 3-9 record the previous year.
Elko’s success continued with an impressive 28-7 victory over No. 9 Clemson at the start of this season, positioning Duke with a strong 4-0 opening before a loss to Notre Dame. Despite quarterback Riley Leonard’s injury in that game, Duke finished the season with a 7-5 record and secured a bowl game appearance for the second consecutive year.
Elko faces the challenge of revitalizing a Texas A&M program that has struggled to fully utilize its financial and talent resources. The team has not clinched a league championship since 1998 and has not appeared in the conference title game since joining the SEC in 2012.
Elko’s background as a defensive coach, with experience at institutions like Bowling Green, Wake Forest, and Fordham, has equipped him with the skills to optimize available resources. He demonstrated this at Duke, implementing significant changes to the program without a major overhaul of personnel, following the tenure of his predecessor, David Cutcliffe.