As soon as Defensive Coordinator Mike Elko became the head coach at Duke in December we knew we’d see some new faces on the Texas A&M defensive staff (or at the very least, some new titles). All of that has seemingly been finalized, and on Friday, the Aggie Football twitter account announced several changes to the 2022 defensive staff.
: Veteran coach D.J. Durkin has joined the Texas A&M staff as defensive coordinator. #GigEm pic.twitter.com/6Hp6y69wKe— Texas A&M Football (@AggieFootball) January 21, 2022
@CoachE_TAMU → Asst. Head Coach/Run Game Coordinator/Defensive Line@CoachSantucci → Co-DC/Linebackers pic.twitter.com/1swVSCs7pQ— Texas A&M Football (@AggieFootball) January 21, 2022
The hiring of new Defensive Coordinator D.J. Durkin is far from breaking news, being reported by several media outlets earlier this month, so this was a formality more than anything. But the real news are the new titles of existing staffers Elijah Robinson and Tyler Santucci.
- Robinson, who has been the Aggies’ defensive line coach (alongside Terry Price) since Jimbo Fisher arrived four years ago, is now Assistant Head Coach, Run Game Coordinator and Defensive Line Coach.
- Santucci has been A&M’s linebackers coach for the past two years (and was also an Analyst in Jimbo’s first year), has been promoted to Co-Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers Coach.
These promotions might appear pointless at first glance, but were necessary to keep Robinson and Santucci in College Station, each of whom reportedly had interest from other schools for defensive coordinator positions. In addition to providing continuity among the Aggies’ defensive position coaches (all remained following Elko’s departure), Santucci and Robinson are also two of A&M’s best recruiters, so it’s not surprising that they would do whatever is necessary to keep these guys around a bit longer.
The Aggies may also be in the market for a safeties coach (Elko coached that position himself in previous years), and most certainly an offensive line coach following the departure of Josh Henson to become an offensive coordinator at Southern Cal.