Story Poster
Introductory Event
Mike Elko
Ross Bjork
Texas A&M Football

WATCH: Texas A&M introduces Mike Elko as head football coach

November 27, 2023

Mike Elko was formally introduced on Monday afternoon as the football coach at Texas A&M. Watch the welcome event and introductory press conference as the Elko era is officially underway in College Station.

The following are live, paraphrased notes from Mike Elko's introductory press conference.

Welcome Event — Hall of Champions

  • Mike Elko, Ross Bjork, Mark A. Welsh and Andrew Monaco have stepped onto the stage.

Andrew Monaco

  • Howdy! They are undefeated at halftime. The Fightin’ Texas Aggie band!
  • Thanks, Yell Leaders and everyone in attendance. 
  • Welcomes Mark A. Welsh.

Mark A. Welsh III

  • Thanks interim head coach Elijah Robinson.
  • “He and the players made all of us very proud.”
  • Our athletic teams bring Aggies together for a common cause, they unite us. That is evident on a fall Saturday afternoon, or morning (laughs from audience).
  • Thanks R.C. Slocum, winningest Aggie coach.
  • Lessons learned from the coaching search: You can't make everyone happy. The rumor mill is stupendous. Nothing is final until it is final. 
  • “The best thing about the process is Mike Elko is sitting right there.”
  • Elko’s time at A&M led the Aggies to a 34-13 record and four bowl games.
  • His defense was ranked No. 3 in the nation when he left.
  • Elko understands the power of the Aggie Network. He understands the engagement of Aggie fans. He understands the pride and passion of Aggie football.
  • Welcome home, and BTHO everybody!

Ross Bjork

  • “That’s what a four-star general sounds like.” Thanks Mark A. Welsh.
  • “It is a great day to be a Fightin’ Texas Aggie!”
  • Asks coach Elijah Robinson to step forward. (Applause from audience)
  • Robinson will coach the bowl game.
  • We laid out our profile on Nov. 12. We talked about establishing identity, a recruiting machine, a culture of discipline. Our mission is to create opportunities through championship athletics.
  • We researched all the teams winning SEC Championships and national championships. The winners have a defensive-minded head coach, elite talent, score a lot of points with a high level quarterback.
  • “I have talked to Mark Welsh more than my family this past week.”
  • We engaged close to 30 coaches, either directly or indirectly. It was great to hear validation of how people view Texas A&M football.
  • The fun part is being able to speak to 25 to 30 former Aggie football players. They see the opportunity and want to win championships and a program to be proud of.
  • That matches coach Mike Elko.
  • Elko is a modern-day and innovative football coach. He played football and then got an Ivy League education. He is viewed as one of the best leaders in college football. He has one of the best coaching IQs in the football world. 
  • Welcome your new head football coach, Mike Elko.

Mike Elko

  • Howdy! Let’s do that one more time. Howdy!
  • I cannot tell you how excited I am to be back at this institution. 
  • I want to start with a bunch of thank yous. Thanks to the chancellor, president, Ross Bjork, Justin Moore, his wife, his kids, Michael, Andrew and Kaitlyn and his mom and dad.
  • Dave Clawson hired him at 23. Developed him into the coach and man he is today.
  • Thanks the Texas High School Coaches Association. The talent and coaching in this state is elite. We will connect and reach out to them.
  • To the former players, this is and will be your program.
  • “Made it through that.” (laughs about being emotional)
  • “I’m back. I am back where I belong.”
  • This is the absolute best fanbase in the country. Aggies take care of Aggies. This place is special.
  • My vision is simple: We will build the premier football program in the country.
  • We will represent this university with pride.
  • We will become the best first of ourselves as soon as possible.
  • The best version of Texas A&M football is winning national championships.
  • There is no elevator. There is no button you push to be at the top of college football.
  • We will develop men and graduated players. We will win championships on the field on Saturdays.
  • This job comes with expectations, and I am ready for them.

Andrew Monaco

  • War Hymn!

Introductory Press Conference

Mike Elko

  • Just real simple: you have to travel a lot of lengths to talk to you guys. Fire away!
  • Offense is the million-dollar question. We will be an explosive of the modern area. You have to be adaptable in what you do on offense. People get caught up in these words.
  • How much time do you have? (when asked about lessons learned as a head coach) Learning how to manage everything, every year do it, you get better at it.
  • When you look at what this program is capable of, it starts with potential. That's what I told the players and crowd. You have to be committed to all the work starting today until next September. There is so much that goes into winning football games in the fall. We need to do the things when no one is looking.
  • It’s a whirlwind. The first thing is connecting with these players and learning about them as young men. A recruiting class will sign quickly, so talking to them. Hiring a staff. That will be a huge piece. Not rushing that. 
  • I will let you talk to Ross Bjork about the logistics. Every decision is really easy and really hard. Leaving relationships and people, that is really hard.
  • It’s a combination of offense and defense, winning national championships. All of those teams have been explosive with talented QB play. Some of these teams in this conference have such firepower that you have to match. There is something to having a blue-collar defense, but you have to score points.
  • Playing at Kyle Field is so unique. It is rocking every Saturday. That makes it special. The community here is unique. They welcomed my family. We have connections here. 
  • Elijah Robinson will certainly be a priority, getting him to stay here. We have to get the coaches right. We have to build this staff to match what we are capable of being.
  • You have to find kids who love football. That’s a big piece of it. Who wants to do it? There are a level of intangibles in to what goes into a player.
  • The accountability of this program. We have to be about Texas A&M. Not higher draft status or NIL. Those opportunities will come with being about A&M.
  • It’s replugging the kids. Look at what Elijah has down the last two weeks. It’s hard when you have high expectations and come up short. Providing a fresh perspective.
  • We will have to try and get some people on here. We have to count on what Texas A&M represents. We have to move 100 mph in a precise direction.
  • It was a unique start to a first team meeting. 50 of the players welcomed me back. Some of those kids I coached or recruited. Up in front of them, it’s about new leadership. There is still a job that needs to be done.
  • Recruiting has become so fast-paced. The state of Texas is elite for high school football. We have done that some, but that has to be a priority. We have to be welcoming to the TXHSFB coaches. The responsibility also is to help build young coaches in this state. 
  • Every program is unique. We play in the best football conference in the country. We have to achieve under pressure. A lot of games will come down to the fourth quarter. 
  • It’s a natural reaction to want to accelerate the process of success. Every program wants to be a national champion. A lot of that is what you don't see. We have to embrace that. That part of football is not fun. It is not on social media. It sucks. If you want to be where you want to be in the fall, there is a price you have to pay to get there.
  • If you want to chase the highest prices, it comes with higher expectations and high pressure. I believe in my process for making decisions. It won't always be right, but we will evaluate it.
  • Understanding that relationship is a huge part of this. All of the hard stuff, they have to believe in you. All of that is relationships. We are past the days of a player doing whatever he wants. That starts this week. We have to build relationships every day.
  • See you next year? (Joking)

Ross Bjork

  • With the College Football Playoff expanded to 12 teams and given where we are, we should be in the hunt every year. We know there is a base salary, but the rest is based on the CFP.
  • Here is the thing: Over the last two weeks, when we engaged with the 30 coaches, there will be moving parts. As Mark Welsh said, it ain't over until it is. I do not know how all of that got out. I appreciate coach Mark Stoops. The end result is what mattered the most. We had a process that was very thorough.
  • It’s those characteristics I laid out earlier that led to Elko. He has a plan. He has been equipped for this for a long time. I remember talking to the Duke AD two years ago about Elko as a head coach. He was ready then.
  • The market here in the SEC is fair, but the landscape can change where you have to earn things.
  • We started the process on Sunday night on Nov. 12. The search firm does not pick the coach. They understand the landscape the whole year. Elko was on our list from the very beginning. He rose to the top. There was engagement from the beginning. We went out there and picked him up.
  • These things are fluid. When you get down to crunch time, when you have finalists, this weekend is the time to get things done. That is where the choice led on Saturday. I was not reading Twitter. We were focused on “Let’s get it right.”
  • The pool for assistants is at $11 million. That is less than what it was. That is all assistants, analysts, recruiting and strength and conditioning staff. That is what makes up that number. The number is top-8 in the country. 
  • We handled Elko’s buyout. We are still confirming the number.
  • It is hard to say how many finalists there were. We were in contact with more than five coaches on Saturday. 
  • I made sure I personally engaged with Elijah Robinson throughout the whole process. I told him I would do everything in my power to make sure he is here if he wants to be here. I wanted to keep him posted. 
  • What was really cool was the first week, you were hearing from people interested in us. We had a list. It helped validate. The goal is to get it right, and everything coach Elko has matched the ingredients.
  • Talking to Dat Nguyen, Ray Mickens and Johnny Manziel... Manziel said, “We need to be an intimidating bully.” He said another word I will not say. 
  • Coach Elko was the head coach of the defense (when we was DC here). 
  • Elijah Robinson will lead us through the bowl game. We know there may be movement. We have time to map that out. The coordinators will call the game on offense and defense. I don't think coach Elko wants to be the DC for the bowl game. He has to take care of other things. We will do everything to prepare our players to play at the highest level.
Discussion from...

WATCH: Texas A&M introduces Mike Elko as head football coach

13,099 Views | 6 Replies | Last: 3 mo ago by BartInLA
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Welcome home, coach. VERY happy you are here!
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I really like the sound of this. Press conference handled much better than the one when we hired Jimbo.

Pointedly called out THSCA. And Bjork and Elko, shouting out to players like Dat, Ray, and Johnny FF.

Welcome home Coach. And to all the former players, welcome home to you!
How long do you want to ignore this user?
I feel certain we got a right hiring Coach Elko.
How long do you want to ignore this user?
TAMU74 said:

I feel certain we got a right hiring Coach Elko.
I think you may be right.
How long do you want to ignore this user?
How long do you want to ignore this user?
I'm very excited about this hire. Something feels really different but I'm not sure what it is.

To recruits: Come to Aggieland and be part of the best. We want you and will do everything to grow all of you into elite players. Get your Aggie ring.
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