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Duke football snares an assistant coach from the Wake Forest staff

New Duke football coach Mike Elko acknowledges the crowd as he is introduced during Duke basketball game against S.C. State at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., Tuesday, December 14, 2021.

New Duke football coach Mike Elko acknowledges the crowd as he is introduced during Duke basketball game against S.C. State at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., Tuesday, December 14, 2021.

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Mike Elko went back to his previous ACC home to add the first coach to his new staff at Duke.

Lyle Hemphill, Wake Forest’s defensive coordinator, is leaving the Demon Deacons to join Elko with the Blue Devils, the school announced Sunday night.

Elko, hired as Duke’s head coach on Dec. 10, worked at Wake Forest from 2014-16 before defensive coordinator stops at Notre Dame and Texas A&M.

The 41-year-old Hemphill will coach safeties at Duke. He coached safeties at Wake Forest beginning in 2017 before adding defensive coordinator duties with the Demon Deacons during the 2018 season.

This season, Hemphill was part of a staff that led Wake Forest to a 10-3 record and an ACC Atlantic Division championship. The Demon Deacons are scheduled to play Texas A&M in the Gator Bowl on Dec. 31 at Jacksonville, Florida. But Hemphill will start work with Duke immediately and will not coach for Wake Forest in that game.

Elko and Hemphill worked together on Hofstra’s staff from 2006-08.

Elko is building a new staff at Duke after taking over for former coach David Cutcliffe, who led Duke to a 3-9 record with an 0-8 ACC record this season.

This story was originally published December 19, 2021 7:15 PM.

Steve Wiseman has covered Duke athletics since 2010 for the Durham Herald-Sun and Raleigh News & Observer. He placed second in both beat writing and breaking news in the 2019 Associated Press Sports Editors national contest. Previously, Steve worked for The State (Columbia, SC), Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, S.C.), The Sun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.), Charlotte Observer and Hickory (NC) Daily Record covering beats including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, University of South Carolina athletics and the S.C. General Assembly. He’s won numerous state-level press association awards. Steve graduated from Illinois State University in 1989.

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