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Five Things You Can Pretend You Knew About Defensive Coordinator Mike Elko

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Great hire, right?

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Boston College Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Howdy, gang. The coaching carousel is still lurching around drunkenly spitting out coaches in various locales, and yesterday another huge piece of the Jimbo Fisher puzzle fell into place. Let’s be completely honest with ourselves, before 2 p.m. yesterday none of us really knew anything about Mike Elko. To overcompensate for that, it’s vital that we all appear to be extremely knowledgable about the newest Aggie defensive coordinator. Here are five things you thought you knew you knew:

  • 1. He is from East Brunswick, New Jersey, the birthplace of the bowling alley. Elko graduated from South Brunswick High School, but the community is most famous for its contribution to American history. In 1791, Founding Father and town founder Horatio Brunswick opened the first full-service bowling alley/arcade neighborhood entertainment center, the model for an entire industry which would eventually spread across the continent with westward expansion.

2. He has one of the largest barnacle collections on the planet. The affinity for the sea-borne parasites began early in his career when he was coaching at the Merchant Marine Academy in 2001. During this time he lived on a rusty tugboat for an entire year and would avidly scrape, collect, and catalogue the arthropods each morning before practice. This grew into a passion that would eventually result in the construction of a massive custom mobile aquarium that he could bring with him as he changed jobs. What a crusty old salt!

3. He is a firm believer in the health benefits of subterranean exercise. While coaching at Bowling Green, he encouraged his players to practice and work out in a large series of underground caverns. He was regularly heard espousing the many benefits of breathing the cool, mineral-rich air found in caves and also believed that having to adjust to the absence of sunlight improved his defenders’ eyesight.

4. He is wildly allergic to lemons. Just one whiff of the yellow citrus can cause him to break out in hives. He has to be prohibitively careful when ordering iced tea, because if he drinks from a glass that has even touched a lemon wedge, he balloons up like the Michelin Man. He has always taken the precaution of coaching in notoriously anti-lemon towns like Richmond, South Bend, Winston-Salem, and of course, New York. When he saw that College Station was close to voting on City Ordinance AHB-78839-QLvs7_3338-99-BBBH-7, which which would establish a lemon-free zone in a two-block radius of campus, he felt a moral imperative to take the Texas A&M job.

5. He is terrified of cartoonish, anatomically questionable mascot suits. While at Wake Forest, Elko banned the Demon Deacon from all practices and team functions. Unfortunately, he has a wildly irrational fear of garishly human mascots that probably stems from his playing days at Penn. This is why, as part of his contract stipulations, Scott Woodward reserves the right to unleash Ol’ Sarge on Elko if the Aggie defense ever gives up 50 points.


There you have it! You may now go out into the world of college football internet armed with this valuable knowledge so that you may posture as an expert on all things Mike Elko.