It may still take a few days to announce as Notre Dame loves to get all of its vetting out of the way (thanks O’Leary) before it goes public, but there are plenty of reports out there that state that Mike Elko will be leaving the Wake Forest Demon Deacons as its defensive coordinator to take on the same role for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Mike Elko agrees to three-year deal https://t.co/8x7tBrA67I— Notre Dame on Scout (@NDonScout) December 16, 2016
Why did Notre Dame eventually hire Mike Elko after firing Brian VanGorder back in September? I’m not going to get overly complicated here, so prepare yourself for some brevity in the answer.
Mike Elko has been a successful defensive coordinator at several stops. He is generally considered by real football people to be on the rise in the coaching profession. Perhaps his greatest asset is his willingness to be flexible with the talent that surrounds him.
For example, Elko has been known to use a type of 3-4 defense as well as a 4-2-5. Both defenses require a particular skill set, and to be honest, they are defensive fronts that are more suited to the players that Notre Dame can recruit. I believe he has also used some 46 packages- which isn’t uncommon for a defensive coordinator to have in his bag, but it’s something we haven’t seen at Notre Dame in a while and it’s something we could have definitely used in the recent past.
In short, he gets more out of his talent by adapting to them as opposed to running a rigid system that demands a certain type of player in each position.
One could question his recruiting skills, but with stops at Bowling Green and Wake Forest, I’m not sure we can really gather much of an answer. It’s a fair question, but one that won’t be answered one way or another until February of 2018.
Notre Dame hired Mike Elko because they needed a defensive coordinator that was flexible and has a recent history of good defenses. Brian Kelly and Notre Dame are hoping he can bring together his roster of players and form a defense that is solid and fundamentally sound.
That’s why they hired him. We wait impatiently for the results.