NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Duke

The Mike Elko era is underway in College Station after Texas A&M hired the now-former Duke coach and ex-Aggies defensive coordinator Monday as its replacement for Jimbo Fisher, who was fired earlier in November in his sixth season guiding the program. And after Texas A&M awarded Fisher a mammoth contract -- 10 years at $75 million on the initial deal back in 2017 -- that ended with the school owing Fisher more than $77 million in buyout money, the Aggies are taking a bit of a different approach to the terms of Elko's deal.

Shortly after the introductory press conference got underway on Monday, the terms of Elko's contract with Texas A&M were revealed. The deal is for six years at $42 million in total value, which boils down to Elko having an annual salary of $7 million. The buyout on his contract is set at flat percentage, which increases at the halfway point of the deal, and there are also plenty of incentives featured. The basic terms for the Aggies' new headman are outlined below:

  • Six years, $42 million total value (runs through Jan. 31, 2030)
  • A flat-rate buyout of 75% of the contract's remaining value in Years 1-3
  • A flat-rate buyout of 80% of the contract's remaining value in Years 4-6
  • $11,000,000 staff salary pool 

As far as incentives are concerned, Elko will be awarded $50,000 if named SEC Coach of the Year and $100,000 should he win a national coach of the year award. A $100,000 paycheck also comes his way for each SEC Championship Game appearance. Beyond that, Texas A&M also has included a list of postseason incentives for Elko, which are outlined below. Should Elko achieve any of the postseason incentives, he will automatically receive a one-year contract extension. 

  • $1 million for a CFP appearance
  • $1.5 million for a CFP Quarterfinals appearance and/or SEC championship 
  • $2 million for a CFP Semifinals appearance 
  • $2.5 million for a CFP National Championship Game appearance 
  • $3.5 million for a CFP National Championship 

Elko, who was 16-9 in two seasons as the coach at Duke, will kick off his Texas A&M tenure with a marquee home matchup as the Aggies begin the 2024 season by hosting Notre Dame on Saturday, Aug. 31. Elko served as Fighting Irish defensive coordinator in 2017 before first arriving to Texas A&M as defensive coordinator in 2018.