By Coach Andy Mac
Mike Ekeler, an excitable sort, often prefaces his football stories with phrases such as "Think about this" and "This is the greatest story of all time."
In January, the 48-year-old native of David City was named special teams coordinator at North Texas. His Mean Green players soon will learn about Ekeler's storytelling prowess, if they haven't already.
Think about this one: During the spring of 2010, when Ekeler coached Nebraska's linebackers, he recalls the Husker defense plodding through a terrible Friday practice. So, Ekeler had a message for his linebackers before a scrimmage the next morning.
Not an official marathon, mind you. In this case, Ekeler had an NU football staff member drop him off on Interstate 80 about 27 miles from Memorial Stadium. It was 90 degrees. The good news: The wind was at his back. The bad news: It was all of 90 degrees. He made it to the 21-mile mark, but not the full 27. We'll get to what happened in a second.
Read the rest of the story here: https://journalstar.com/sports/huskers/sipple/steven-m-sipple-the-story-of-mike-ekelers-aborted-27-mile-run-on-i-80/article_01d10c2f-8fd4-5bd3-8e00-56f72aa57ea7.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
When Mike Ekeler was playing linebacker at Kansas State University under Hall of Fame coach Bill Snyder in the early 90s, he set a record.
But you won’t find his name scribbled in the NCAA history books anywhere.
“When I played a hundred years ago, I set the NCAA record for having more fun than anyone,” Ekeler said jokingly. “When I got into coaching, I said I was going to enjoy it more than anybody.”
He seems to be living up to his promise.
Ekeler’s antics have caused just about everyone to take notice — including his boss. Head coach Seth Littrell knows the excitement Ekeler brings to the field and summed it up in two words.
“Energy and passion,” Littrell said. “He’s very sharp. He understands what he’s looking for and understands the scheme.”
Without Littrell, Ekeler would not have come to Denton. The hiring of Littrell is one of the main reasons Ekeler decided to call North Texas his new home.
With a resume that has coaching gigs at the University of Southern California, University of Oklahoma, Louisiana State University, Indiana University, Nebraska University, and most recently, the University of Georgia, there is little doubt Ekeler could have landed just about anywhere in the country he wanted to go.
But coaching is a job for a people person, and Littrell knew just the person to call to fill his defensive coordinator void.
His former colleague was sold — and ready to join the Mean Green.
“I’m 100 percent standing here today because of Seth Littrell,” Ekeler said. “I think he’s an unbelievable football coach and a great person. I believe in the guy.”
Despite a powerhouse pedigree featuring some of the most renowned football programs in the nation, one thing mattered above all else to Ekeler.
“I’ve worked at some of the greatest schools history-wise in the game,” Ekeler said. “But what it boils down to is people. You can be at the University of Georgia and be miserable if you’re working with shitty people. I really enjoy my work environment and the players here.”
In just six short weeks, Ekeler has turned what was the eighth-worst defense in the Football Bowl Subdivision last year into a stone wall in the red zone.
read more: http://ntdaily.com/new-defensive-coordinator-mike-ekeler-helping-change-the-culture-at-north-texas/
DENTON - There are a lot of factors when considering the career of a college football coach. Success on the field, success in the classroom for your student-athletes, hirings, firings and the excitement each of those may bring to a fan base.
What isn’t always thought about is the effect those hirings and firings have on not only the coach but his family, and the remainder of the staff’s families.
read more: http://www.meangreensports.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/093016aab.html