Duke football: Mike Elko heavily linked to Texas A&M, final decision soon

Duke football head coach Mike Elko (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke football head coach Mike Elko (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke football program could be looking for a new head coach very soon. 

Judgement day has come for the Duke football program as head coach Mike Elko has been heavily linked to the job opening at Texas A&M.

Multiple reports have stated that the Aggies offered Elko its head coaching position and he will make an official decision on Monday.

247Sports stated that he relayed the message to the Blue Devil players and coaches on Sunday evening but would take the night to finalize his choice.

All indications are that he will accept the offer and become the head coach of the SEC program after Texas A&M fired Jimbo Fisher on November 12 and still has to pay the remaining $76 million on his contract, the largest buyout in college football history.

Duke hired Elko from the Aggies as a defensive coordinator on Fisher’s staff. He won nine games in his first season in Durham after the team won a combined five games over the last three seasons.

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The Blue Devils (7-5) finished the regular season with a 30-19 victory over Pittsburgh and will await its bowl game to be announced on Sunday afternoon.

Mike Elko had Duke in position to contend for an ACC Championship after a 5-1 start to the year, but the season was derailed by injuries, specifically to quarterback Riley Leonard who has not played since October 28.

Duke football gets burned by rejection

Texas A&M had wanted Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops for its opening but he made the decision to stay Wildcats late Saturday night and the program eventually turned its sights to Mike Elko.

Reports surfaced earlier in the weekend that the Duke head coach had told the higher-ups at the university that he intended to stay in Durham despite varying interest from Michigan State and Texas A&M.

Assuming the reports are true and Elko will leave for College Station, Duke will have its third different head coach in the last four seasons after only having two head coaches between 2004-2021.

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The Aggies, after being ranked No. 6 in the preseason poll last season, did not reach a bowl game but will return to the postseason this year.

Most of that time period was covered by David Cutcliffe and Tedd Roof winning four games in his four full seasons as the head coach was not a good tenure for the program.

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