It was reported last night by several different outlets that Notre Dame is interviewing Wake Forest defensive coordinator Mike Elko for their defensive coordinator position today. This likely doesn’t come as any big surprise to anybody who has paid attention to Wake the past few years, as Elko has been nothing short of fantastic for the Demon Deacons.
Notre Dame is apparently “extremely interested” in Elko to fill the vacancy that was left when they fired Brian VanGorder after a 1-3 start to the season.
The Wake Forest defense has been predicated on a “bend-but-don’t-break” mantra, allowing 370 yards per game, but only 21.8 points per game. The Deacs rank 20th nationally in points allowed, 12th in sacks, and 10th in turnovers forced. According to the S&P Rankings, the Deacs rank 28th nationally defensively.
While this is not a done deal yet, it does not require a great imagination to think of why Elko may want to go to Notre Dame over Wake Forest. They have deeper pockets, a richer history, every game is on national television, and it’s the damn Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
One drawback to getting hired by the Irish for Elko would be the job security angle. There’s no doubt that Brian Kelly is on the hot seat, and if he doesn’t get the job done next year then he will be out of South Bend, and likely with his entire staff. This leaves Elko with a decision to make—-does he take the Notre Dame DC job, interview with Oregon and perhaps go there, or stay at Wake and gamble that he will still be a hot commodity come next season?
The Deacs will probably not be as good defensively as they were this year, so this could be a great example of striking while the iron is hot if you are Elko.
There are a lot of things that go on with these types of interviews, and pretty much nothing is off the table. What we do know is that Mike Elko is a very hot name at the defensive coordinator position, and there is a decent chance that Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson may be conducting a search of his own soon.
We will keep you up to date as soon as we hear anything relating to the interview.