FULL GAME: Notre Dame vs. USC

NBC's broadcast of Notre Dame's 49-14 victory over USC.


Exclusive 1 on 1 - Mike Elko

Jack Nolan talks to Defensive Coordinator, Mike Elko, on Media Day 2017


Exclusive 1-on-1 Mike Elko

Jack Nolan caught up with defensive coordinator Mike Elko after practice.


USATSI Gallery - Notre Dame @ Boston College

USATSI Gallery - Notre Dame @ Boston College

The Elko File

College Pennsylvania (History, 1999)
Wife Michelle
Children Michael, Andrew and Kaitlyn

Playing Experience

1996-99 Pennsylvania Linebacker

Coaching Career

1999 Stony Brook Graduate Assistant/Inside Linebackers
2000 Pennsylvania Assistant Defensive Backs
2001 US Merchant Marine Academy Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
2002 Fordham Linebackers
2003 Fordham Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
2004 Richmond Recruiting Coordinator/Linebackers
2005 Richmond Special Teams Coordinator/Recruiting Coordinator
2006 Hofstra Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
2007 Hofstra Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
2008 Hofstra Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/ Linebackers
2009 Bowling Green Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
2010 Bowling Green Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
2011 Bowling Green Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
2012 Bowling Green Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
2013 Bowling Green Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
2014 Wake Forest Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
2015 Wake Forest Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
2016 Wake Forest Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

Bowls/Playoffs Coached

2002 NCAA Division I-AA Quarterfinals
2005 NCAA Division I-AA Quarterfinals
2009 Humanitarian Bowl
2012 Military Bowl
2013 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
2016 Military Bowl

Personal Information

  • Four-year letter-winner as a safety at Pennsylvania (1996-99)
  • Helped the Quakers to the 1998 Ivy League title

Coaching Accomplishments

  • First season as the Irish defensive coordinator in 2017
  • Comes to Notre Dame following three seasons as the defensive coordinator/safeties coach at Wake Forest (2014-16)
  • One of only two defensive coordinators in the nation to have a unit rank in the top-40 of the Football Bowl Subdivision in total defense over the last five years
  • In 2016, the Demon Deacons’ defense ranked in the top-20 of the FBS in fumbles recovered (third), turnovers forced (10th), sacks (12th), defensive TDs (17th), red zone defense (17th) and scoring defense (20th)
  • Wake Forest was one of four schools in the FBS to rank in the top-20 in turnovers forced, sacks and scoring defense in 2016 (the other three schools -- Alabama, Clemson and Washington -- qualified for the College Football Playoff)
  • In addition to his role as defensive coordinator, Elko coached the Demon Deacon safeties
  • Instrumental in the development of All-ACC and ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year runner-up Jessie Bates III, who finished with 93 tackles and five interceptions, including two that were returned for TDs
  • In 2015, Wake Forest ranked 38th in the FBS in total defense, allowing just 363.8 yards per game
  • The Deacons also ranked among the national leaders in fewest first downs allowed (10th), red zone defense (31st), pass defense (32nd) and third-down conversion percentage (36th)
  • In 2014, Wake Forest finished 12th nationally in passing yards allowed, 24th in fewest first downs allowed and 40th in total defense
  • Spent five seasons as Bowling Green’s defensive coordinator (2009-13)
  • The Falcons’ defense led the Mid-American Conference in scoring defense, total defense, rush defense and pass defense in each of his last two seasons
  • Bowling Green’s defense excelled at forcing turnovers and stopping opponents on third down
  • Over his five seasons as defensive coordinator, the Falcons forced 106 turnovers or 1.7 per game and held opponents to just 35.9 percent third down conversions
  • In both 2012 and 2013, the Falcons ranked in the top 10 in the nation in both total defense and scoring defense
  • The 2012 season was a banner year for the BGSU defense, finishing the season ranked sixth in the country in total defense (296.6) and 10th in scoring (16.7)
  • The Falcons held the opposition to under 100 yards rushing in nine contests as BGSU had six different players earn All-MAC Honors
  • The 2012 defense would finish as the fourth-best third down defense in the nation, allowing a first down just 28.1 percent of the time
  • Served as the defensive coordinator at Hofstra for three seasons (2006-08)
  • Coached the No. 1 passing defense in the Colonial Athletic Association in 2007, holding opponents to just 136.8 yards per game
  • Hofstra’s defense ranked 11th in the Football Championship Subdivision in rushing defense and 15th in total defense in 2007
  • Came to Hofstra after two seasons as recruiting coordinator, linebackers coach and special teams coordinator at the University of Richmond (2004-05)
  • In 2005, the Spiders went 9-4, captured an Atlantic 10 Championship and reached the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs
  • Helped Richmond rank 12th in the FCS in scoring defense (17.7 points per game) and 22nd in rushing defense (120.1 yards per game)
  • Served as the Fordham linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator for two years (2002-03)
  • Coached a defense in 2002 that led the Patriot League in scoring defense (14th in the FCS)
  • Coaching experience includes time at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, where he served as defensive coordinator and at his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, directing the secondary
  • Began his coaching career at Stony Brook in 1999 where he guided the linebackers in the fall and the defensive backs in the spring

Dynamic Disciples

S Jessie Bates III (Wake Forest)

  • 2016 All-ACC First Team
  • 2016 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year runner-up

CB Kevin Johnson (Wake Forest)

  • 2015 NFL Draft First Round pick (Houston Texans)
  • 2014 All-ACC Second Team

LB Brandon Chubb (Wake Forest)

  • 2015 All-ACC First Team

DL Nikita Whitlock (Wake Forest)

  • 2013 All-ACC First Team
  • Two-time All-ACC Second Team

DT Chris Jones (Bowling Green)

  • 2013 NFL Draft Sixth Round pick (Houston Texans)
  • 2012 FWAA First Team All-American
  • 2012 Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year
  • Two-time First Team All-MAC

Mike Elko
Mike  Elko

Defensive Coordinator

Alma Mater:
Pennsylvania '99

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