DL Mike Elston // Notre Dame Defensive Line Coach

  • HOMETOWN: Saint Marys, OH
  • YEARS AT NOTRE DAME: 2010-Present
  • ALMA MATER: Michigan

Mike Elston, whose coaching career dates back more than two decades, currently serves as both Notre Dame’s associate head coach and defensive line assistant. He was born November 1, 1974 and lettered for three seasons as an outside linebacker with the Michigan Wolverines from 1994-96.

Rising in the Ranks

After four seasons as a member of Michigan’s coaching staff, Elston then served for three years as an assistant at Eastern Michigan. In his final season with the Eagles in 2003, he was a key facet of helping the team’s defense into the most improved unit in terms of total yards allowed and scoring.

In 2004 he joined Brian Kelly’s staff at Central Michigan, commencing a run that’s set to begin its 16th consecutive year. Elston moved along to Kelly’s Cincinnati coaching staff in 2007 and spent three seasons there. He concluded his tenure by not only coaching the second-best kickoff return unit in the nation, but helping the Bearcats to a 12-1 season and a berth in the Sugar Bowl.

Shifting Roles with the Irish

After Kelly was hired at Notre Dame, he named Elston as the Irish’s defensive line coach on January 5, 2010. In his first two seasons, Elston also served as special teams coordinator before handling the line exclusively for the next three campaigns.

On March 2, 2015, Elston’s role shifted when he was named both Notre Dame’s recruiting coordinator and linebackers coach. His tutelage of the latter unit was a nod to his collegiate playing days, with his return to coaching the Irish defensive line coming two years later.

It was at that time that Elston was also tabbed as associate head coach, serving in Kelly’s role when the head coach is unavailable. However, it was Elston’s impact on the defensive line in 2017 that saw each member of the starting line achieve career-highs in sacks, tackles, tackles-for-loss.

That success was a precursor to a defensive line that excelled during the undefeated 2018 regular season. Defensive tackle Jerry Tillery flourished, while players like Julian Okwara and Khalid Kareem thrived under Elston’s leadership.

(Photo: Rich Kane/Icon Sportswire)

Mike Elston News Archive

Notre Dame DL coach Mike Elston

Notre Dame’s Mike Elston Continues to Let the Good Times Roll

If Notre Dame’s 2018 National Championship campaign ended on a sour note, then the Irish’s recruiting since then has inspired fans with hope that this team can continue to compete for a national championship year in and year out. In ...

Mike Elston Strikes Again: Notre Dame Lands Another 4-Star DL

The recruiting momentum is not stopping for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  On Wednesday, the Irish landed a commitment from another 4 Star D-lineman.   How does the old saying go? When you’re hot, you’re hot. Well I’m here to tell ...

Brian Kelly Restructures Notre Dame Football Recruiting Staff

Following Notre Dame’s open practice which it referred to as the “New and Gold” game inside Notre Dame Stadium on Sunday, Brian Kelly met with the media.  In addition to the normal team and player updates, Kelly announced a restructuring ...
Mile Elston - Notre Dame Recruiting Coordinator

Recruiting Assignments for New Notre Dame Staff

With all of the shakeup of the Notre Dame coaching staff, there were plenty of changes to the recruiting responsibilities of the Irish staff.
Mike Elston

Mike Elston Expected to Stay at Notre Dame

Shortly after news broke that Bob Diaco would be leaving Notre Dame to be the next head coach at UConn, it was reported that Diaco had plans on offering Notre Dame defensive line coach Mike Elston his defensive coordinator. That ...

Recruiting Highlights Assistants’ Immediate Plans

Notre Dame officially announced the hiring of three new assistant coaches to Brian Kelly’s first staff on Tuesday – Chuck Martin, Mike Elston, and Mike Denbrock. Each had quotes about their immediate plans in the official press releases from the ...

Denbrock, Martin, and Elston Added to Irish Staff

Notre Dame officially announced the hiring of three new assistant coaches to first year head coach Brian Kelly’s inaugural staff. Former Irish assistant Mike Denbrock (tight ends), former Grand Valley State head coach Chuck Martin (defensive backs), and former Cincinnati ...