Duke football names Jonathan Patke as new defensive coordinator

The Blue Devils now have a new head coach, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator heading into 2024.
The Blue Devils now have a new head coach, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator heading into 2024.

Just a day after announcing Jonathan Brewer as its new offensive coordinator, Duke made another huge switch on the sideline Wednesday afternoon with its hire of Jonathan Patke as its new defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. Patke replaces Tyler Santucci, who took the job last year, at the post.

Patke, who comes to Durham after a year with Texas State as its defensive coordinator, helped marshal the Bobcats to an impressive defensive record, logging 8.3 tackles for loss and 3.1 sacks per game, good for second and ninth in the nation, respectively. His unit helped lead the Bobcats to an eight-win season — the first in the school's history — and an appearance in the SERVPRO First Responder's Bowl, which Texas State won 45-21 against Rice, also its first bowl victory in program history. Ahead of his time in San Marcos, Texas, he also spent a year as the defensive coordinator at Incarnate Wood, leading the Cardinals to a No. 4 ranking in the FCS and semifinal appearance in the championship bracket.

Blue Devil head coach Manny Diaz is very familiar with Patke's coaching style. The two worked together at Miami during Diaz's tenure as the Hurricanes' head coach, and at Louisiana Tech and Mississippi State before that. In particular, Patke has shown an affinity for mentoring linebackers, including the Bobcats' Brian Holloway to a spot on the All-Sun Belt Second Team.

Patke takes over a Duke unit that was one of the conference's — and the country's — more impressive defenses for much of 2023, headlined by key returners in Birmingham Bowl MVP Chandler Rivers and defensive lineman Vincent Anthony Jr. However, the departure of former head coach Mike Elko to Texas A&M in November has caused considerable shakeups on top of normal losses to graduation. Brandon Johnson, Jaylen Stinson, R.J. Oben and Aeneas Peebles, among others, have either entered the transfer portal or committed elsewhere, while captains DeWayne Carter and Ja'Mion Franklin logged their last game of eligibility in Duke's bowl win.

The Blue Devils have a long offseason to implement Diaz's vision ahead of their 2024 season opener next fall.


Andrew Long profile
Andrew Long | Sports Editor

Andrew Long is a Trinity junior and sports editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.

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