Reports had surfaced earlier this week that Texas A&M Aggies Defensive Coordinator was a candidate for the head coaching position with the Temple Owls. Apparently he even flew up there for an interview. But according to multiple reports, Elko will be returning to College Station as the Aggies’ defensive coordinator in 2019.
Good news for #TAMU: DC Mike Elko is staying at Texas A&M, per source. There had been speculation that he might be headed to Temple for their HC job. Yahoo first reported the news.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 12, 2018
Source: Mike Elko will return to Texas A&M as defensive coordinator.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) December 12, 2018
Two sources have told me Texas A&M DC Mike Elko has turned down Temple and will remain in Aggieland (first reported by @PeteThamel and @samneu_)— Billy Liucci (@billyliucci) December 12, 2018
Elko took over a defense that was 78th in total defense and 87th in scoring defense in 2017 and improved them to 36th and 58th in those categories in his first year. Most notably, the Aggies finished the regular season second in the nation in rushing defense, giving up only 92 yards per game on the ground (after surrendering more than 170 rushing yards per game the previous season). Obviously his departure would have been a big blow to a defensive unit and a team that is going into next season with high expectations and an even more difficult schedule.
Before coming to A&M, Elko spent one year at Notre Dame, three years at Wake Forest and five years at Bowling Green, all as a defensive coordinator. He was paid $1.8 million at A&M this season in the first year of a three-year contract. It’s unknown if he’ll receive a raise for 2019.