January 29, 2023

Former Texas A&M defense coordinator Mike Elko was destined to be head coach. How well would he transfer at Duke in Year 1?

Give the coach of the year a good try.

He was called Elko ACC Coach of the Year for his efforts with the Blue Devils in his freshman season. Duke finished the tournament 8-4 overall and 5-3 in conference play, the highest aggregate wins since 2018 and the highest conference wins since 2014.

After a 3-9 (0-8 in the ACC) in 2021 in the final year of the David Cutcliffe era, Duke should finish bottom in the ACC Coastal Division preseason poll. Instead, Elko and the Blue Devils finished second in the division, falling a game behind their North Carolina State rivals to earn a spot in Saturday’s conference title game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte against No. 9 Clemson.

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