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South Florida Bulls interview Nebraska assistant about defensive coordinator post

Nebraska linebackers coach Mike Ekeler, who played under Jim Leavitt at Kansas State from 1991 to 1994, interviewed Saturday on USF's campus for the defensive coordinator job.

Ekeler has spent the past five years with Cornhuskers coach Bo Pelini, first as a defensive graduate assistant at Oklahoma, then for three years at LSU as a grad assistant and football intern. Ekeler followed Pelini to Nebraska last year and coached linebackers.

Ekeler, 37, is considerably younger than former Bulls defensive coordinator Wally Burnham, who resigned last week to take the same post at Iowa State and coach with his son, Shane.

Leavitt also has interviewed former Cincinnati defensive coordinator Joe Tresey (pronounced Tracy) for his coordinator opening. Tresey, who has helped the Bearcats beat the Bulls in each of the past two seasons, was dismissed by coach Brian Kelly, who is shifting to a 3-4 defense in 2009.

EASTERN WASHINGTON: The school will appeal an NCAA ban on postseason play next season. Athletic director Bill Chaves said in a news release that EWU, in Division I-AA, will appeal only the postseason ban — not the other penalties levied by the NCAA this month. Most of those penalties were self-imposed after EWU reported violations to the NCAA in 2007.

ILLINOIS: Coach Ron Zook said defensive tackle Josh Brent was suspended from the team indefinitely after his arrest over the weekend. Illinois state police said Brent was arrested early Saturday in Urbana on suspicion of driving under the influence. A Champaign County Jail official said Brent posted bond and was released.

NEBRASKA: Quarterback Patrick Witt, who was expected to compete for a starting job next season, has decided to transfer. Witt appeared in five games last season and went 6-of-8 for 48 yards.

Other sports

BASEBALL: Indiana defeated host USF 9-7 in the inaugural Big East-Big Ten Challenge at the Naimoli complex in St. Petersburg. Bulls outfielder Ryan Lockwood had his 32-game hitting streak, the nation's longest (including the final 30 games of 2008), end. He was 0-for-4 with a walk. For a list of scores from the tournament, see For the Record on 7C.

Information from Times wires was used in this report. For news on other sports from our instate colleges, go to and click on More Sports.

South Florida Bulls interview Nebraska assistant about defensive coordinator post 02/22/09 [Last modified: Monday, February 23, 2009 12:07am]
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