Notre Dame hires Wake Forest's Elko as defensive coordinator

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Notre Dame has hired Mike Elko as its defensive coordinator, hoping he can turn around a unit that struggled at the beginning of last season and was blamed in part for a down year for the Fighting Irish.

Elko has spent the past three seasons as the defensive coordinator at Wake Forest after two years at Bowling Green. The former Ivy League safety at Penn had the Demon Deacons' defense ranked in the top 20 of the Bowl Subdivision in fumbles recovered (third), turnovers forced (10th), sacks (12th), defensive TDs (17th), red zone defense (17th) and scoring defense (20th).

Brian VanGorder was fired as defensive coordinator on Sept. 25, the day after a 38-35 loss to Duke dropped Notre Dame to 1-3 in what ended up being a 4-8 season.