Duke football: Mike Elko flees Durham for College Station in middle of night

Duke football head coach Mike Elko (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke football head coach Mike Elko (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

Mike Elko left the Duke football program in the middle of the night. 

Duke football head coach Mike Elko did a little more than just go down into his kitchen for a midnight night snack on Sunday.

He and his family boarded a private plane from Durham to College Station as he is set to officially become the next head coach of the Texas A&M Aggies on Monday.

Mike Elko’s plane landed around 3:00 a.m. ET, 2:00 a.m. CT local time southeast Texas, but there was no pomp and circumstance for the arrival of the SEC school’s next anticipated head coach.

It was just Elko, his wife, their children, Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork, and other members of the Aggie athletic department, according to Carter Karels of 247Sports.

The traveling party quickly got into the vehicle that was waiting for them on the tarmac and drove away.

Elko became the next candidate for the Aggies once they were turned down by Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops on Saturday night.

ALSO READ: Mike Elko heavily linked to Texas A&M, final decision soon

The news should not come as a shock to many, despite the 46-year old claiming he would remain a Blue Devil this offseason despite reported interest from Texas A&M and Michigan State to fill their vacancies.

Texas A&M fired Jimbo Fisher earlier this month and are still on the hook for paying him $76 million, which is the largest buyout in college football history.

Duke football coach’s history with Texas A&M too much to overcome

Mike Elko served as the defensive coordinator for the Aggies for four seasons before becoming the Duke head coach in 2021 and was named as the ACC Coach of the Year in his first season with the Blue Devils.

It was reported by multiple outlets on Sunday afternoon that Elko had told his players and coaches at Duke that he was offered the Texas A&M job but a decision would be made in 24 hours whether he would accept.

ALSO READ: Duke not leading race for Boozer twins after official visit

The expectation was that Elko would accept but cryptically leaving Duke in the early hours of the morning will certainly leave a bad taste in the mouths of Blue Devil supporters for a coach that was able to turnaround the program from irrelevancy in less than two years.

No terms of the contract between Mike Elko and Texas A&M have been released but an announcement should come on Monday morning and a press conference is expected to be held as early as Monday afternoon introducing him as the school’s head coach.

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