Duke Football’s Mike Elko Considering Texas A&M Head Coach Offer, Sources Say

Mike Elko, Duke’s football coach, is potentially nearing the end of his prosperous two-year tenure with the Blue Devils. School insiders have confirmed that Mike Elko is considering an offer to become the head coach of the Texas A&M Aggies.

ESPN disclosed on Sunday night that a deal had been struck between Mike Elko and Texas A&M. In early December, Jimbo Fisher, the head coach at Texas A&M who had Mike Elko as his defensive coordinator from 2018 to 2021, was relieved of his duties.

 Mike Elko was appointed as the head coach of Duke in December 2021 and has achieved a 16-9 record during his tenure.

Mike Elko, aged 46, was honored as the ACC Coach of the Year in the previous season for his remarkable achievement in turning a 3-9 Duke team from 2021 into a formidable 9-4 squad.

In the ongoing regular season, the Blue Devils secured a 7-5 record, culminating with a 30-19 victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Texas A&M’s search for a new head coach took an unexpected turn on Saturday night when reports initially indicated that Mark Stoops, the head coach of Kentucky, would be taking the position. 

However, Stoops clarified the situation by posting on social media that he would be staying at Kentucky. Following this development, the Aggies redirected their focus entirely towards Mike Elko.

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Duke Can’t Match Texas A&M’s Football Investments

duke-football-mike-elko-considering-texas-a&m-head-coach-offer
Mike Elko, Duke’s football coach, is potentially nearing the end of his prosperous two-year tenure with the Blue Devils.

Despite Duke making adjustments to Mike Elko’s contract last summer to allocate more resources, the university is unable to match the substantial financial commitments that Texas A&M dedicates to its football program.

Jimbo Fisher, who was terminated on November 12, received a $76 million buyout, and his annual salary had increased to $9 million after a contract adjustment in 2021.

While Mike Elko served as the defensive coordinator at Texas A&M from 2018 to 2021, the Aggies achieved a record of 34-14. Nevertheless, their performance has been less impressive in the past two seasons, with a 12-12 record, leading to Jimbo Fisher’s removal.

Mike Elko’s primary concern at Duke, as it would be at any institution, is ensuring the availability of adequate boosters who can support NIL deals crucial for recruiting and retaining players.

Ahead of the early signing day for 2024 recruits on December 20, Duke has secured commitments from 22 players for this class, including highly regarded four-star quarterback Tyler Cherry from Greenfield, Indiana. 

This recruiting class is ranked 36th nationally according to 247sports.com. A change in the coaching staff might prompt these committed players to reassess their choices before signing day.

Mike Elko joined Duke after David Cutcliffe’s departure. Cutcliffe had steered the Blue Devils to six bowl appearances between 2012 and 2018. Nonetheless, the team faced adversity with a string of 13 consecutive ACC losses during the pandemic-impacted seasons of 2020 and 2021.

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