SEC coordinator named potential candidate to replace Les Miles at Kansas
If you missed the news from late Monday evening, Kansas has “mutually parted ways” with Les Miles following the allegations levied against the Jayhawk coach during his time in Baton Rouge in the recently released internal report from LSU.
This news leaves Kansas in a tough spot as the Jayhawks have the only FBS opening in the country while spring practices are either already underway or soon to begin across college football.
Kansas now needs a new coach — offensive coordinator Mike DeBord has been named acting head coach in Lawrence — but even if there are interested candidates available out there, getting them to leave their current program during spring may be a tough ask.
Taking that into consideration, Kansas may be forced to hire an assistant coach willing to jump for the opportunity at landing a promotion.
In a recent column from Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, Texas A&M’s defensive coordinator Mike Elko was named as a potential candidate for the open position at Kansas.
This is a tall task for an assistant, but Elko, 44, has shown the chops as part of reviving the programs at both Wake Forest and Notre Dame as an assistant. Elko projects as one of the most coveted assistants in the next cycle after fielding the SEC’s top defense in 2020. He’s the caliber of coach they’d struggle to land in a more competitive market.
If Elko is offered the Kansas job, he’d have to consider taking it but the opportunity to lead potentially his best defense in College Station next fall may be too much to pass on for the assistant coach.
Should Elko have to weigh these decisions, he would be wise to study a similar choice made by Steve Sarkisian at this time last year. Colorado offered Sarkisian its job after Mel Tucker left for Michigan State very late in the coaching carousel. Instead of jumping at the CU job, Sark stayed and coached the nation’s best offense, which led to him landing the Texas job.
Just something for Elko to consider as his Aggie defense looks to be an elite unit heading into the 2021 season.