Former Duke football head coach Mike Elko’s contract at Texas A&M has been revealed.
The assumption that Mike Elko left the Duke football program for Texas A&M because of a salary increase is true.
Elko was officially introduced as the head coach of the Aggies on Monday afternoon and the details of his contract were also revealed to the public as the 46-year old inked a 6-year contract that will pay him a base salary of $7 million per season, equal to $42 million in total.
Texas A&M is still on the hook for the $76 million buyout of former head coach Jimbo Fisher, who the school fired on November 12.
The buyout is the largest in college football history.
Mike Elko had agreed to a contract extension with Duke ahead of the 2023 season that was supposed to keep him in Durham through the 2029 season and reportedly had a $5 million buyout.
“I’m back. I’m back in Aggieland,” Elko said at his introductory speech.
“I’m back where I belong.”
The extension also included an escalated model for assistant coaches and additional resources for staff salaries, however, Texas A&M is giving him an $11 million salary pool for his coaching staff.
Duke football could not compete with wild incentives
The incentives that are included in Mike Elko’s contract are certainly eye-popping.
He will receive $1 million if the Aggies make the College Football Playoff in his tenure, which will expand to 12 teams beginning next season, and $1.5 million if Texas A&M advances to the Quarterfinals of the College Football Playoff and/or win the SEC Championship.
Elko puts an extra $2 million in the bank if he makes the Semifinals of the College Football Playoff and $2.5 million if he brings Texas A&M to the National Championship Game.
A $3.5 million bonus awaits the former Duke coach if he wins the National Championship and an extra year gets added to his contract if he accomplishes any of those incentives.
Texas A&M has not won an SEC Championship since joining the conference in 2012 and has not played in a modern day National Championship.
Mike Elko will earn a smaller $100K bonus if the Aggies appear in an SEC Championship or he wins the National Coach of the Year and $50K if he is named as the SEC Coach of the Year or Texas A&M has a multi-year Academic Progress Rate of 960 or higher.