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Mike Ekeler
Title Linebackers Coach
College Nebraska
Sport College football
Conference Big 12
Born October 4, 1971 (1971-10-04) (age 38)
Place of birth Nebraska David City, Nebraska
Annual salary $150,000[1]
Career highlights
Awards
George Michael Sports Machine Special Teams Player of the Year (1994)
Playing career
1991-1994 Kansas State
Position Linebacker
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1999-2001
2002
2003-2004
2005-2006
2007
2008-present
Omaha Skutt HS (AC)
Manhattan (KS) HS (AC)
Oklahoma (GA)
LSU (GA)
LSU (Intern)
Nebraska (LB)

Mike Ekeler (born October 4, 1971) is the Linebackers Coach for the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers football team.

Contents

Biography

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Early life

Mike Ekeler was born in David City, Nebraska, a small city in Central Eastern Nebraska with a 2000 census population of 2,597, and graduated from Blair High School in Blair, Nebraska in 1990.

Playing career

Ekeler played both sides of the ball at Blair High School, as a wide receiver and linebacker. The Blair High School team won the Class B Nebraska State Championship in 1988, his junior year.

After the conclusion of his high school playing career, Ekeler played for Kansas State as a linebacker under Bill Snyder from 1991 to 1994, lettering in three of his four years there. Ekeler was appointed as a team captain by Snyder in 1994, and was the only player ever appointed captain by Snyder during the coach's entire seventeen-year head coaching career at Kansas State. Coincidentally, during Ekeler's first year playing at Kansas State, future fellow Nebraska Assistant Carl Pelini was early into his coaching career, putting in his third and final year on the Kansas State coaching staff.

Ekeler concluded his time at Kansas State by obtaining his Bachelor's degree in Social sciences in 1995[2]

Coaching career

After seven years in private business for himself, Ekeler returned to the game when he began volunteer coaching for V. J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School in Omaha, Nebraska from 1999 to 2001, and as an assistant coach at Manhattan High School in Manhattan, Kansas in 2002, back in the town where he had played for Kansas State almost a decade before.

In 2003, Ekeler's first opportunity to rise to the college ranks presented itself when he was invited by Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops to join the staff as a Graduate Assistant, working under Co-Defensive Coordinator Bo Pelini. Oklahoma played for the BCS Championship in both of Ekeler's seasons at Oklahoma, while posting a two-year record of 24-3.

When Bo Pelini moved to LSU to work under Les Miles beginning in 2005, Ekeler followed and continued working under Pelini as a Graduate Assistant, and success followed. In their first year, LSU finished with national top ten rankings in all defensive categories. In 2006, the LSU squad bested defensive records set in 1976 as LSU led their conference in six defensive categories and ranked nationally in four. 2007 brought even greater success, as Ekeler moved into a position as a coaching intern, and LSU rolled to a 12-2 record and won the BCS Championship, marking the third time in five years that Ekeler had been part of a team playing for the BCS title.

At the conclusion of the 2007 season, Pelini was hired to replace Head Coach Bill Callahan at Nebraska. Many former Nebraska assistants who were let go upon Callahan's hire four years prior were brought back into the program, and being a Nebraska native and also a valued team member at LSU, Pelini brought Ekeler back to his home state of Nebraska, along with a promotion to Linebackers Coach, for the 2008 season.

References


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