According to Pete Thamel at Yahoo Sports, Duke Head Coach Mike Elko is planning to hire Wake Forest’s defensive coordinator Lyle Hemphill to take over the DC job for the Blue Devils.
Sources: Duke expected to hire Wake Forest DC Lyle Hemphill. He has a long history with new Duke coach Mike Elko.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) December 17, 2021
Obviously, Hemphill and Elko know each other well in their time at Wake Forest and have worked together for many years. Hemphill coached the safeties at Wake Forest starting in 2017 and became the defensive coordinator for the Deacs in 2018 after Clawson fired Jay Sawvel.
While I think most of us would agree the defense has not been great in the last few years, Hemphill did have Wake Forest in the top 10 in the nation in takeaways per game in both 2021 and 2019. On the other hand, in terms of points per game since 2018, the Deacs ranked 102nd, 76th, 91st, and 95th in the nation. The defense had moments here and there where they looked awesome, but overall, they gave up far too many points and far too many yards for a team with ACC Championship aspirations.
With Duke taking Hemphill from Wake Forest, the Deacs will now need a new defensive coordinator, though I know many of you here had been hankering for that for some time. I have no idea if Clawson will be looking for someone he has worked with previously or someone who knows how to recruit to a smaller school like Wake Forest, or just the best available defensive coordinator on the market. Feel free to throw out some candidates in the comments if you would like. Go Deacs!