Defensive coordinator Mike Elko will remain with Fighting Irish

— -- Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly told Irish Illustrated on Tuesday that Mike Elko will remain defensive coordinator of the team.

Elko just wrapped up his first season in South Bend and was a big reason behind the team's defensive turnaround. The No. 14 Irish are 9-3 entering the Citrus Bowl Presented by Overton's against No. 17 LSU on New Year's Day.

"Yeah, it's been a challenge, but we'll all be together," Kelly told Irish Illustrated of his assistants. "At first glance, yeah, I think you're always on guard [about losing a coach], especially the defensive coordinator position. Mike came in, did a really good job. His name was out there, but he's gonna be here at Notre Dame."

Florida State is currently looking for a defensive coordinator under new coach Willie Taggart, while Jimbo Fisher could be doing the same at Texas A&M.

"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," Kelly told Irish Illustrated. "The money is crazy and the length of contracts that are being thrown at you. You look at it that way, you're probably going to catch somebody's eye early on in the process, and I'm not saying that it happened or it didn't happen, you can put two and two together."