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Duke extends the contract of second-year football coach Mike Elko through 2029 season

Chris Graham
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(© Jamie Lamor Thompson – Shutterstock)

Mike Elko, the guy that Duke hired to coach its football team after the school’s first choice, Tony Elliott, took the job at Virginia, has signed an extension that will keep him at Duke through the 2029 season.

Elko went 9-4 in his first season at Duke, a six-win improvement over the program’s 3-9 finish in its last season under David Cutcliffe in 2021.

Most recently the defensive coordinator at Texas A&M, Elko was the fallback after Elliott, who was the next hot head-coach hire heading into the 2021 offseason after a nice run as the offensive coordinator at Clemson, signed on with Virginia.

Elliott stumbled out of the gate in his at Virginia, leading the Cavaliers, who lost 38-17 at Duke on Oct. 1, to a 3-7 record.

Duke went from 0-8 in the ACC in 2021 to a 5-3 finish in conference play in 2022, a remarkable five-game turnaround.

“Over the last 18 months, Coach Elko has cultivated and executed a plan to push Duke Football forward with tremendous attention to detail, energy and a persistent commitment to excellence,” Duke AD Nina King said. “His passionate dedication to the Duke experience sets the standard, and we are fortunate to have him and the entire staff developing the young men in our program into elite student-athletes and future community leaders. Coach Elko’s vision acutely aligns with the principles of the university, and I could not be more excited to have him guide Duke Football well into the future.”

Included in the new agreement with Elko is an enhanced, escalating model for the assistant coach and support staff salary pools.

“This will enable us to continue to build elite opportunities for our young men to develop and succeed at one of the most prestigious universities in the country,” Elko said. “We came here with a mission to create a program that could become the absolute Best of Both Worlds, and this is another step in that direction. The future of Duke Football is extremely bright.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].