Elko addressed the potential move with his Duke team at a team meeting Sunday. Sources told ESPN in the afternoon that an official announcement was expected in next 24 hours.
Elko is a former Texas A&M defensive coordinator who left there two years ago to take the Duke head-coaching job. Elko was the coordinator for some of Texas A&M’s best recent seasons, including the 9-1 campaign in 2020 that culminated with an Orange Bowl victory.
Since Elko’s departure after the 2021 season, A&M’s performance has dipped on the field. The Aggies went 12-12 the past two years, which is why the school paid a record $76 million buyout to fire coach Jimbo Fisher. The buyout is not subject to offset or mitigation and is by far the biggest in the history of the sport.
Elko immediately showed his chops as a head coach, authoring one of the sport’s biggest turnarounds upon landing the Duke job in the 2022 season. Duke went 9-4 in Elko’s first season after he inherited a team that had gone 3-9 the year before.
This year, Elko established himself as a candidate for a higher-profile job when Duke opened the season with a 28-7 win at No. 9 Clemson. The Blue Devils began the season 4-0 before losing to Notre Dame at home, with star quarterback Riley Leonard getting injured in the fourth quarter.
From there, Duke’s trajectory changed. The team finished 7-5 and will go to a bowl game for the second consecutive season.
Elko takes over an A&M program that has struggled to maximize its monetary and talent resources. The school hasn’t won a league title since 1998 and hasn’t played in the conference title game since entering the SEC in 2012.
Elko is a defensive coach by trade, and he has worked at places over the years — Bowling Green, Wake Forest, Fordham — where he has learned to maximize the resources available. He clearly did that at Duke, after the program had dipped under predecessor David Cutcliffe, as Elko brought on wholesale changes without a significant personnel overhaul.
Source : ESPN