An extremely busy week for the Wake Forest football program just got even busier. Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel is reporting that Wake Forest defensive coordinator Mike Elko has accepted a role to become Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator. Elko has been Wake Forest’s defensive coordinator for the past three seasons, and coached with Dave Clawson at Bowling Green, Richmond, and Bowling Green.
Source: Notre Dame finalizing a deal to hire Wake Forest's Mike Elko as defensive coordinator. https://t.co/kb3kkmoqaF— Pete Thamel (@SIPeteThamel) December 15, 2016
Pete Thamel is reporting that it is a multi-year contract, and 247 Sports reports that it will be for three years.
Mike Elko is one of the most respected defensive minds in college football, and has consistently led a very strong Wake Forest defense. The defense ranked 28th nationally in Defensive S&P+ ratings in 2016, and was 20th nationally in points per game allowed. The defense was 61st nationally in S&P+ in 2015, and was 37th in 2014. During his final year at Bowling Green, he led the them to the 38th best defense in the country.
In addition to being defensive coordinator, he also coached the safeties during his time at Wake Forest. Wake’s most notable safety during that time is Jessie Bates. Although he wasn’t highly rated coming out of high school, he was a Freshman All-American this past season.
I certainly wish Elko nothing but the best in the future, except when Notre Dame is playing or recruiting against Wake Forest. At this point, it’s unclear if he will coach in Wake’s bowl game against Temple, or who will be Elko’s replacement moving forward, but we will keep you all updated as soon as more information is available.