A press release on Monday afternoon made it official. New Mexico defensive coordinator Doug Mallory and Nebraska linebackers coach Mike Ekeler will be Indiana’s co-defensive coordinators.
Though it was reported earlier that Purdue linebackers coach Mark Hagen will coach Indiana’s defensive line and special teams, he was not part of the release.
The release says Mallory will coach the safeties and Ekeler will coach the linebackers.
The rest of the release follows.
DOUG MALLORY, MIKE EKELER NAMED INDIANA CO-DEFENSIVE COORDINATORS
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana Head Football Coach Kevin Wilson announced Monday that Doug Mallory and Mike Ekeler (ECK-ler) will join the Hoosier staff as co-defensive coordinators. Mallory will coach the safeties and Ekeler will coach the linebackers.
Mallory, who has served as an IU defensive backs/special teams coach (1994-96) and graduate assistant (1988), has 23 years of collegiate coaching experience with stops at Army, Western Kentucky, Indiana, Maryland, Oklahoma State, LSU and New Mexico. Ekeler has coached the Nebraska linebackers since 2008 with prior stints at Oklahoma and LSU.
“I am excited to have Doug, Mike and their families join the IU football family,” Wilson said. “They are both great additions to our program, university and the Bloomington community. Both men bring unparalleled character, energy, experience, enthusiasm and winning attitudes. This is a great start to the foundation we are building here. It is a great day to be a Hoosier!”
Mallory has coached in seven bowl games, including victories in the 2007 Sugar Bowl and the 2008 BCS National Championship Game. He spent the past two seasons as defensive coordinator at New Mexico after four seasons at LSU.
“We are excited to come back to Bloomington to be a part of the Indiana football program and get the opportunity to work with Coach Wilson,” Mallory said. “The program is in great shape and is not far from being in a position to compete for the Big Ten title. We are anxious to get started and to get the program back to where it is competing for Big Ten championships.”
Ekeler joined the Nebraska staff after spending the previous four seasons working alongside current Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini at LSU and Oklahoma. He also worked with Mallory at LSU from 2005-07, and Wilson at Oklahoma in 2003 and 2004.
“I could not be more excited to come to Indiana,” Ekeler said. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with Coach Wilson at Oklahoma, and I think the world of him as a coach and a person. Coach Mallory is a great friend and coach. We are ready to build something really special.”
Mallory’s name is not unfamiliar to Hoosier fans. Doug’s father, Bill, is the winningest coach in Indiana football history. From 1984-96, Mallory led the Hoosiers to six of the program’s nine bowl appearances.
In addition to his father, Mallory’s brothers, Curt and Mike, are both football coaches – Curt serves as the defensive coordinator at Akron, while Mike is the special teams coach for the New Orleans Saints. Curt was an IU secondary coach (2002-04) and graduate assistant (1993-94), while Mike was also an IU graduate assistant (1986-87).
Mallory coached the LSU secondary from 2005-07 before being elevated to co-defensive coordinator in 2008. The Tigers had a No. 3 national rating in pass efficiency defense every year from 2005-07. Safety Craig Steltz and cornerback Chevis Jackson were both selected in the 2008 NFL Draft, with Jackson going in the third round to Atlanta and Steltz in the fifth round to Chicago. Mallory also saw free safety LaRon Landry selected with the sixth overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins, as he became the highest drafted defensive back in school history.
He came to LSU from Oklahoma State, where he spent four years as the secondary coach. Prior to his four-year stint with the Cowboys, Mallory served in the same capacity at Maryland from 1997-00. He arrived in College Park, Md., after he served as the defensive backs and special teams coach for the Hoosiers.
Mallory also coached at Western Kentucky, as the defensive coordinator in 1992 and 1993. He spent the 1990-91 seasons with Western Kentucky as the secondary, special teams and inside linebackers coach. In 1989, Mallory served a one-year stint at Army, coaching the offensive line for the 6-5 Black Knights. He got his start in coaching in 1988, serving as a Hoosier graduate assistant.
As a player, Mallory was a four-year letterwinner at Michigan from 1984-87, participating in four bowl games with the Wolverines (Holiday, Fiesta, Rose, Hall of Fame). For his career, he recorded 182 tackles and six interceptions.
A native of Bowling Green, Ohio, Mallory graduated from Michigan in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in sports management and communications. Doug and his wife, Lisa, have three girls, Emily (17), Allison (14) and Sarah (11).
Ekeler’s linebackers have played a big part in the Nebraska defense ranking in the top 10 nationally in pass efficiency (fifth), passing (seventh), scoring (eighth) and total defense (10th) this season. The Cornhuskers won the Big 12 North Division, are 10-3 overall and will face Washington in the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30.
Middle linebacker Lavonte David is seventh in the country with 145 tackles, five shy of the school record, and 12th in the nation with 78 solo stops. He was the Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year, runner-up for Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, an All-Big 12 selection, a first team CBSSports.com and Rivals.com All-America honoree, and a second team Associated Press and SI.com All-America member.
Ekeler’s linebacking corps earned numerous honors in 2009, including second-team All-Big 12 accolades for Phillip Dillard and All-Big 12 freshman team honors for both Will Compton and Sean Fisher. The linebacker unit played a key role in Nebraska leading the nation in scoring defense and pass efficiency defense.
He joined the Nebraska staff after he spent the 2005 and 2006 seasons as a graduate assistant coach at LSU, working with the Tiger defense. He then served as an intern for the LSU football team in 2007, as he helped the Tigers win the SEC and national titles.
In 2006, the LSU defense surrendered just 242.8 yards per game, the fewest by a Tiger defense since 1976. LSU led the SEC in six defensive categories and ranked in the top five nationally in four major categories. LSU finished in the top 10 nationally in 2005 in all four major defensive categories and allowed less than 270 total yards per contest.
Ekeler spent the 2003 and 2004 seasons as a defensive graduate assistant at Oklahoma on Head Coach Bob Stoops’ staff. In both of his seasons at OU, the Sooners participated in the national championship game and the Sooners posted a combined record of 24-3.
He got his start in coaching as a volunteer assistant at Omaha (Neb.) Skutt High School from 1999-01. The following season, Ekeler was an assistant coach at Manhattan (Kan.) High School, before moving into the college game. Prior to his stint in the high school ranks, Ekeler spent seven years in private business, owning a sales company based in Omaha.
Ekeler earned a reputation as a hard-nosed, fiery competitor during his playing days at Kansas State from 1991-94. A four-year letterman, Ekeler was a linebacker and special teams standout for Head Coach Bill Snyder’s teams, including the 1993 Copper Bowl and 1994 Aloha Bowl squads.
He graduated from Kansas State in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in social science. Ekeler and his wife, Barbie, have four children, J.J. (10), Cameryn (9), Abigail (7) and Bella (3).