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Duke eyes Texas A&M assistant Tyler Santucci, according to reports

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Texas A&M co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Tyler Santucci could become Duke’s defensive coordinator at Duke, according to the Raleigh News & Observer and ESPN’s Pete Thamel.

Duke first-year head coach Mike Elko, who was A&M’s defensive coordinator for four seasons, announced Saturday via social media that defensive coordinator Rob Smith was leaving “to get back home closer to his family in Minnesota.”

Santucci became the lead candidate to replace Smith. He was a graduate assistant at Wake Forest in 2014-15 when Elko was the Deacons’ DC. Santucci also was a defensive analyst at Notre Dame in 2017 when Elko was the Irish’s DC.

Santucci came to A&M in 2018 as an analyst, returned to Wake Forest as linebackers coach the following season and came back to A&M in 2020 as linebackers coach. Santucci last year added the title of co-defensive coordinator when the Aggies replaced Elko with DJ Durkin.

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