Duke football names Trooper Taylor as interim head coach

Duke football interim head coach Trooper Taylor (John Reed-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke football interim head coach Trooper Taylor (John Reed-USA TODAY Sports) /

Nina King has named Trooper Taylor as the interim head coach of the Duke football program. 

The aftermath of Mike Elko’s departure is already underway inside the Duke football program and athletic director Nina King has already named his immediate replacement.

Associate head coach and running backs coach Trooper Taylor will be leading the Blue Devils in its upcoming bowl game as the interim head coach, King announced on Monday afternoon.

“We will hit the ground running,” King said in her public statement to the media.

Taylor has been with the program since 2019 and also spent time as Duke’s cornerback and wide receiver coach.

“I want to thank Coach Mike Elko, he worked tirelessly in his two seasons to truly elevate our Duke football program,” King added.

Duke qualified for bowl games in back-to-back seasons under Elko, something that had not been done since 2017 and 2018, and recorded 16 victories in those two years after only having 10 wins in the previous three seasons before his arrival.

Trooper Taylor’s coaching career began immediately after his playing career ended at Baylor and has spent time at Baylor, New Mexico, Tulane, Tennessee, Auburn, and Arkansas State in his 31-year coaching career.

ALSO READ: Mike Elko officially named Texas A&M head coach

However, he has never been a head coach, permanent or interim.

Taylor was on the coaching staff at Auburn as the associate head coach and wide receivers coach during the Tigers’ National Championship season in 2010.

Duke football already beginning search for next head coach

Nina King said the school’s “national search for its next football coach is well underway.”

She did not take questions following her statement.

Duke ended the season 7-5 (4-4 ACC) and will learn what bowl game it will play in on Sunday afternoon.

ALSO READ: Mike Elko flees Durham for College Station in middle of night

King mentioned that she has already met with the current players and coaches and will meet with prospect who are commit to Duke and their families, as well as the families of the current players on Monday evening.

Mike Elko will be formally introduced as the head coach of Texas A&M on Monday afternoon in College Station.

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