According to Billy Liucci of TexAgs.com, A&M has hired Notre Dame DC Mike Elko. Aranda, 41, already was set to make $1.9 million this year as the nation's top-paid assistant; LSU bumped that up to $2.5 million following A&M's pursuit. At Notre Dame, he inherited a unit that struggled in 2016 amid the Irish's disastrous 4-8 season.
On paper it's hard to imagine Elko making a lateral move to College Station after a single season in South Bend, but Texas A&M is still searching for a defensive coordinator after Jimbo Fisher's shock 10-year deal worth $75 million after he left Florida State.
Elko coached one season at Notre Dame after three seasons at Wake Forest and five at Bowling Green.
"Mike Elko has made the decision to accept an offer to be the defensive coordinator at Texas A&M".
Notre Dame beat LSU 21-17 on New Year's Day in the Citrus Bowl game played in Orlando, Fla.
In an article published December 26, Kelly told 247Sports' Irish Illustrated that Elko wasn't leaving.
He told Irish Illustrated, "If you're looking at the defensive coordinators that are out there today and you look at what they're being paid, it's ridiculous". "The money is insane and the length of contracts that are being thrown at you".
"So when we say simplified, I don't necessarily know that the whole schematics of what he's doing is simplified, it's just that it's more detailed and oriented towards what you have to do for the week".
Kelly's exact compensation isn't clear because Notre Dame is a private school and not subject to the same disclosure requirements as most public schools. Mike came in, did a really good job. Kelly fired VanGorder and following the season replaced him with Elko, who had managed the defense at Wake Forest.
The Aggies have gone 20 years between conference titles, considering their last came in 1998 when they competed in the Big 12. He had a 51-26 (25-23 SEC) record with the Aggies.