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Texas A&M to hire Notre Dame’s Mike Elko as defensive coordinator

The 40-year-old led the Fighting Irish to No. 31 in the country in scoring defense in 2017.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame Spring Game Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

After making a failed attempt at LSU’s Dave Aranda, Texas A&M has found its next defensive coordinator in Notre Dame’s Mike Elko, according to reports from Billy Liucci of TexAgs.com and Bruce Fedlman of Sports Illustrated.

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly confirmed the move on his Twitter account.

Elko, 40, replaces John Chavis, who spent three seasons with the Aggies under head coach Kevin Sumlin. Texas A&M fired Sumlin at the end of the regular season and hired Jimbo Fisher from Florida State on a 10-year, $75 million contract. Elko is the second coordinator spot to be filled on Fisher’s staff. Texas A&M hired Darrell Dickey as offensive coordinator from Memphis, where he led the same role.

Elko took the Notre Dame job after a three-year stint at Wake Forest. He led the Fighting Irish defense to No. 31 in scoring defense (21.5 points per game), 51st in rushing defense (154.5 yards per game), 46th in pass efficiency defense, 46th in total defense and 50th in turnovers gained. Before his arrival, Notre Dame ranked No. 61 in its 4-8 season in 2016.

Elko led the Demon Deacons to the nation’s No. 20 scoring defense in 2016, helping clinch the first bowl bid for Wake Forest since 2011. Dave Clawson’s program ranked 121st in the country in scoring offense, so Wake Forest’s turnaround is largely credited to the defense.

Texas A&M also finalized its offensive staff for Dickey on Thursday.

Tight ends coach: Tim Brewster

Wide receivers coach: Dameyune Craig

Running backs coach: Jay Graham

Offensive line coach: Jim Turner

Brewster, Craig and Graham all followed Fisher from Florida State to Texas A&M, while Turner was retained from last year’s staff.