Source: Mike Elko set to leave Wake to become Notre Dame D-coordinator

Notre Dame is expected to hire Wake Forest defensive coordinator Mike Elko to the same position, a source told

Sports Illustrated first reported the news earlier Thursday.

The Irish fired previous coordinator Brian VanGorder after a 1-3 start this season. They are experiencing a staff shake-up this offseason after also firing tight ends coach and special teams coordinator Scott Booker, a source had told

Additionally, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Sanford was hired Wednesday as Western Kentucky's head coach.

It is unclear what the hire of Elko would mean for the rest of the Irish defensive staff. Greg Hudson had been promoted from analyst to interim coordinator after the in-season firing of VanGorder.

The Irish's defense improved drastically after the coordinator switch, as it ranked 103rd in total defense and 101st in scoring defense under VanGorder and, by season's end under Hudson, ranked 44th and tied for 62nd, respectively.

VanGorder had been in the final season of a three-year deal when he was fired, according to multiple sources. Tax records released to this past spring revealed VanGorder's first-year salary to be $1,106,156. The terms of Elko's deal are unclear.

Elko spent the past three seasons at Wake Forest, which followed a five-year stint at Bowling Green. He worked under head coach Dave Clawson in all eight of those seasons, and also spent two additional seasons apiece at both Fordham and Richmond with Clawson.

The 39-year-old Elko led the 6-6 Demon Deacons to a No. 20 national ranking in scoring defense this season (21.8 PPG), and they were 33rd in total defense as well. Wake Forest made its first bowl game since 2011.

The Demon Deacons have ranked in the national top 40 in total defense in all three of Elko's seasons there. Elko's final unit at Bowling Green, in 2013, ranked 10th nationally in total defense and fifth in scoring defense (15.86 PPG). The Falcons ranked sixth and 10th, respectively, in those categories in 2012, also under Elko.
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