Mike Elko left Notre Dame to take his talents to A&M for a reported $1.8 million annually.
However, Yahoo Sports reporter Pete Thamel tweeted the $1.8 million is just for the first year. He said the contract is “a three-year deal with a rollover options. It STARTS at $1.8 in Year 1 with incentives to grow.”
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly confirmed the news in a statement where he thanked Elko for his time as a defensive coordinator for the Fighting Irish. The coach is also confident they can find somebody who can replace Elko because the school “simply attracts people at the top of their profession.”
Elko will be working with Jimbo Fisher who left Florida State in December last year to join A&M. The 10-year contract is worth a lucrative $75 million. Fisher led Florida State to a championship back in 2013.
Fisher said in a statement that he’s excited to be working with Elko, whom he described “as one of the top defensive minds in the nation.”
“No matter where Mike has worked, he has consistently produced defenses that have been among the nation’s best,” the statement read.
In just one year, Elko’s genius helped gave Notre Dame a defensive identity. The numbers don’t lie. From being ranked No. 57 in scoring defense, the Fighting Irish moved up to 27 in just a single season. The yards per play allowed also moved up from No. 44 to No. 35 under Elko. More importantly, from the 4-8 season in 2016, Notre Dame’s record improved to 10-3.
The Aggies need that same defensive identity especially since they were ranked No. 78 in total defense last year with an atrocious 408.5 yards per game given up to opponents. The Texas A&M finished with 7-6 record, which led to the firing of Kevin Sumlin.