Texas A&M Athletic Director Ross Bjork Seeks Next Championship-Winning Coach
Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork posed a thought-provoking question during his press conference on Sunday: ”Can we find the next R.C. Slocum who can be here for a long time and win championships?” As the Aggies move forward following the firing of Jimbo Fisher, Bjork emphasized the importance of consistency in their next coaching hire.
Two-Man Race for the Texas A&M Coaching Position
If the Aggies are serious about their goal, the search for the next head coach narrows down to two strong candidates: UTSA’s Jeff Traylor and Duke’s Mike Elko. While Detroit Lions head coach and Texas A&M alum Dan Campbell could also fit the bill, the demanding year-round recruiting requirements of college football may deter many NFL coaches from making the switch.
Traylor, a former East Texas high school coach, has demonstrated remarkable consistency in his coaching career. With two conference titles in three seasons, a stellar conference record, and an impressive away record, Traylor has transformed UTSA’s football program into a force to be reckoned with.
Elko, on the other hand, brings a wealth of experience and familiarity with Texas A&M. Having previously served as the team’s defensive coordinator, Elko’s recent success as the head coach of Duke, including a victory over Clemson, makes him a strong contender. His defensive expertise and ability to build a cohesive roster could ensure the Aggies’ competitiveness in the upcoming seasons.
Timing and Considerations
The timing of Fisher’s termination is crucial in the search for a new coach. While Oregon’s Dan Lanning and Washington’s Kalen DeBoer are also potential targets, firing a coach early in the season suggests that Texas A&M aims to secure a replacement sooner rather than later. This approach allows the Aggies to have a head start in the coaching market.
Other potential candidates, such as Kansas’ Lance Leipold and Kansas State’s Chris Klieman, possess excellent coaching abilities but lack the Texas A&M or Lone Star State ties that Traylor, Elko, or Slocum have. High-profile names like Urban Meyer and Deion Sanders may be enticing, but they remain more of a fantasy than realistic options.
Building a Championship-Caliber Program
Bjork emphasized the need for a coach who possesses a range of qualities, including program identity, player development skills, commitment to academics, and a passion for the game. Both Elko and Traylor embody these characteristics, making them ideal choices for the Aggies.
With a roster ranked among the top five most talented in the nation, Texas A&M has the resources and recruiting advantages to compete with any program. Fisher’s tenure demonstrated the Aggies’ ability to build a roster capable of cont