Head coach Seth Littrell brought back former defensive coordinator Mike Ekeler to serve as the new special teams coordinator Friday, Jan. 31., according to a press release by Mean Green Sports news. Ekeler was the defensive coordinator for the Mean Green in the 2016 season in Littrell’s first year as the head coach.
Ekeler previously served as the special teams’ coordinator for Kansas under former national champion head coach Les Miles in the 2019 season. He coached two special teams, Kansas players last season to Big 12 conference honors. Over his coaching career, Ekeler has held multiple duties ranging from the defensive coordinator, special teams coordinator, and linebackers coach.
“Being able to bring Coach Ekeler back home to Denton is something I’m very happy about,” Littrell said. “He brings a great passion to our program as an impressive recruiter and builds very strong relationships with his players. He also has a strong track record of success in developing high-level players on the field and great men off of it.”
Since 2008, Ekeler has moved around as a linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator for multiple power-five conference schools including Nebraska (2008-2010), Indiana (also co-defensive coordinator) (2011-2012), Southern California (2013), Georgia (2014-2015) and North Carolina (2016).
In 2015 as linebackers coach at Georgia, the team ranked seventh total defense, allowing only 305.8 yards per game, and were second in the Southeastern Conference in passing defense efficiency. Ekeler coached three Georgia linebacker draft picks to the NFL which were Leonard Floyd (first round), Ramik Wilson (fourth round) and Amarlo Herrera (sixth round).
As a graduate assistant between for Oklahoma in the 2003-04 seasons where the Sooners appeared in consecutive BCS championship games, Ekeler was also on staff as a graduate assistant for LSU in the 2007 season where the Tigers won a national championship.
Ekeler played at Kansas State between 1991-94 under head coach Bill Snyder as a linebacker and on special teams. In 1994 he was named a captain for his senior season, as well as National Special Teams Player of the Year in 1994 by George Michael Sports Machine.
Featured Image: Defensive Coordinator Mike Ekeler stands on the sideline during the Middle Tennessee game. Ekeler spent the first two seasons as inside linebackers coach at Georgia. Image by Colin Mitchell