Report: Doug Mallory, Mike Ekeler to be named IU defensive coordinators’s Tom Dienhart is reporting that New Mexico defensive coordinator Doug Mallory and Nebraska linebackers coach Mike Ekeler will be named Indiana’s new co-defensive coordinators. Mallory is, of course, the son of former Indiana coach Bill Mallory.

Before his time at New Mexico, the younger Mallory also coached the secondary at LSU, Oklahoma State, Maryland and Indiana under his father. He was also the defensive coordinator at Western Kentucky.

Ekeler also coached at LSU and was a graduate assistant at Oklahoma early in new IU coach Kevin Wilson’s career there.

UPDATE, 5:49 p.m.: Both Mallory and Ekeler have refused to comment on their potential hires, though neither flatly denied the reports.

“I don’t think anything’s been released,” Mallory said. “Nothing’s been finalized yet, so I can’t comment on anything. I have not been hired and I’m still employed at the University of New Mexico.”

Ekeler did not immediately return a voicemail from the Herald-Times, but he issued a similar statement to the Nebraska media.

“I can’t comment until it all becomes official at Indiana,” Ekeler told the Lincoln Journal-Star.


  1. Good to hear you say that Mike P.
    After some thought, I can see the many reasons that these coaches would be hired.

  2. That “Co” Defensive Coordinator thing has not worked out very often in the NCAA. There usually needs to be a “boss” on offense or defense to work effectively. A body with 2 heads is a monster and not normal.

    How does a “Co-Head Coach” work out? It doesn’t and that is why there is 1 head coach or boss. Neither does co-defensive coordinators. Guess we will see next year!

  3. This is good. Mallory is a solid defensive coach, and Ekeler is one of the top up and coming assistant coaches. Bo Pelini is not liking this.

  4. Plenty of successful programs use co-coordinators. Just because it didn’t work with the last staff doesn’t mean it should never be used.

  5. Co Coordinator designation is not significant. Both are good young coaches and recruiters. Good solid hires by Coach Wilson.

  6. Co-Defensive coordinators has worked just fine for OH St! It is ALL ABOUT the Head Coach! If any assistant coach does not perform at a high level, he must be fired and replaced quickly. Bill Lynch NEVER fired an assistant coach!

  7. I can’t lie, I go to school in the Mountain West. New Mexico is horrible. I mean horrible. Am I missing something here? Hopefully he knows what he’s doing. I have faith in Coach Wilson.

  8. Hmmm…perhaps Max Pirman will de-commit to Nebraska and re-commit at IU. Ekeler looks like a young John Gruden type, so this could be an awesome hire. New Mexico has been horrible the last few years, so not sure what to make of the Doug Mallory hire. In any case, I think the IU programs is making big strides in heading in the right direction. Ramon Taylor please take notice, you can become the next Tracey Porter at IU and start as a freshman, or you can ride the pine at Iowa with all the upper-classmen ahead of you on the depth chart.

  9. Let’s remember this is the same Doug Mallory who coached and won a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP at LSU. He got thrown under the bus by Les Miles. The New Mexico situation is not reflective, at all, of his stature as one of the most respected defensive coaches in all of college football. This is a GREAT hire by Coach Wilson.

  10. Mallory was only in New Mexico for 2 seasons, his work as the secondary coach from 2005-2007 that got him moved to Co-Defensive coordinator in 2008 for Les Miles at LSU is what lends merit to this hire, that and he is a Mallory.

  11. Also just do not know about the CO… part of it, but to get these two talented coaches is huge. I am amazed we would have a chance of taking this guy away from Nebraska.

  12. Coach Crean was right when he said “It’s Indiana”! But long before that statement, Coach Bo Schemblecher was asked about his linebackers one year, and he described the great talents of two linebackers and when he got to the third, he just said, “And he’s a Mallory”. That seemed to cover it!

  13. I hate to rain on the parade for Hoosiers fan, but some of the private “booster” message boards around Nebraska were saying that Ekeler was going to be fired this season and was told to seek other employment. It’s rumored that the brothers Pelini were not satisfied with his performance as LB coach. Funny dude though, and he’s been a quality recruiter.

  14. Donnie2112,

    Typical postings when these things happen. When the rumors hit that IU was hiring Wilson, the Oklahoma boards lit up with how glad they were to get rid of him, etc.

    Nebraska’s leading tackler, #4 Lavonte David had 145 tackles on the season, that is 52 more than the next leading tackler. David lined up as the Will LB for Nebraska. He had 16 TFL, 6 sacks, those were both 2nd to Jared Crick, a Junior DT that was named the best player in college football prior to the start of this season by The Sporting News.

    Sounds like sour Husker Fans to me.

  15. If you want a flashback to the Mallory era, search YouTube for Bill Mallory Michigan State and watch the speech he gave to the Spartans after they beat IU for the Big Ten title. Damn classy move.

  16. I hope Wilson hires all new coaches, every coach under Lynch was not a winner. Most of the players that were drafted to the NFL under their coaching were cut. James Hardy said that they did not know how to coach up solid talent.

    I hope people are not rehired because of some type of loyalty to friendship.

  17. CLN,

    Thanks for that, love Mallory’s passion and fire. Something I feel was missing since IU fired him, except for the short time we had Hep.

  18. Donnie 2112…your ‘private’ blogs don’t mention that Ekeler has been around Pelini in some capacity for six years. Yes, he and Mallory were together under Les Miles…so, obviously they know each other and have a pedigree. Please, let’s not make things up. You don’t like it…you don’t like it, but don’t start rumors based on unseen comments.

    Think this through. Coach Wilson knows Ekeler’s work…he had to play against it in his role as Offensive Coordinator at Oklahoma. And the internet gives you the capability of mining for data.

    Old rule…If your mom tells you she loves you, check it out.

    to mention that

  19. This is a great move by Wilson. Mallory will do a great job and I like the passion that Ekler brings.

    One thing I hope Wilson considers is retaining Billy Lynch. He has been the best recruiter that IU has had and that could be a benefit with the high School Coaches in Indiana. He has also coached the most productive unit on the team and is well liked by the players. Please consider this Coach!

  20. Bo just paid a small portion of the non-invoiced admission for joining the B10. The Huskers and IU have not yet played as conference opponents and already it is IU 1 and Nebraska 0. The co- designates work when the HC clearly outlines the responsibilities for each. He will delegate their duties and responsibilities just as he will the priorities and tasks between himself and the O coordinator. I like these selections, one from another winning program and one with a stellar pedigree. Now is Wilson going to holdover anyone from the previous O staff?

  21. I still hate the “co” part, but I do love these hires. Both coaches have been involved in big time games with big time programs. They know how to coach and how to win at the elite level. I don’t know about getting Pirman back from Nebraska, but one name to watch for is Michigan City, IN linebacker Giorgio Karallas. He’s a highly thought of prospect for the 2012 class. He already holds offers from IU, Nebraska, Purdue, and Ball St. Ekeler was in charge of his recruitment at Nebraska, and it’s been said the kid loves him.

  22. Sound like solid hires. It might well be that Nebraska LB play has frustrated Wilson’s offensive schemes and he may have long planned on Ekeler as his first hire if he was ever a head coach.
    Whatever the case, I feel a damn site better about these guys than if we’d brought aboard a grad assistant from Central Michigan that the coach wanted to give their first big break. We’d gone that route.

  23. A lot of contradictory comments on this story.

    I don’t believe anything coming out from Cornhusker bloggers about Ekeler being told to find other employment; he was with Pelini for a lot of years. That’s just typical sour grapes BS.

    As for Mallory, if he’s such a good coach, why was he “thrown under the bus” by Les Miles? Why was he coaching the worst defense in the country at the arm pit of college football the last two years? He has bounced around a lot, and if he’s so good, at 46, you’d think he’d be a head coach by now. Mallory may be very talented, but if he is hired, it’s going to give opposing coaches ammunition in recruiting againt IU. Hiring Mallory will not inspire confidence in IU football. Pedigree does not win games and hiring Mallory could be a mistake.

    As for having co-defensive coordinators, “when two people are in charge, no one is in charge.” Never liked the concept. IU needs a strong “boss” for defense who can bring in the best position coaches available and who’s reputation inspires confidence and enthusiasm.

  24. I’m not usually Debbie Downer on here, but I’m not initially all that jazzed about the Mallory hire, especially with the New Mexico thing. Somebody convince me with facts that this is a good hire, NOT just a last name.

    Much appreciated!

  25. For those of you who support the hiring of Mallory, ask yourself this; if he had a different last name, would you support IU hiring him given his record at New Mexico? If he was not the son of IU’s respected former head football coach, would you still support a guy that went from LSU to coaching the worst defense in college football?

    Will Mallory inspire confidence and enthusiasm in recruits? Will opposing coaches use his record at New Mexico against IU? There’s already enough doubt being expressed by readers of this board to question IU hiring Mallory.

    Hey, it may not be fair to blame Mallory for New Mexico’s record or performance, but I question why he would go to New Mexico in the first place, escpecially after his time at LSU. At the very least, his judegement should be called into question. Opposing coaches will pounce on this in the recruiting wars.

  26. Podunker,

    Yes I would, all you want to look at is New Mexico, take off the blinders and realize he had the 4th ranked secondary (he was their coach) that won the 2007 BCS National Title!

    He was elevated to co-defensive coordinator in 2008, something happened between him and Miles, possibly a broken promise, but that lead to him taking a job at a horrible team.

    As far as moving around, he was at Army coaching offensive lineman for a year, was offered the DC job at Western Kentucky, a D2 school at the time, he spent 4 years there before being offered a D1 job at IU by his dad. When Bill and staff got fired in 96, he went to Maryland for 4 years before getting offered a job under Les Miles at Oklahoma State, he jumped with Les Miles to LSU, spending a total of 8 years with the Mad Hatter before going to New Mexico.

    Now if you dig deeper into his secondary’s stats, 54 interceptions in 4 years at OSU, an LSU secondary that ranked top 5 in the nation all 4 years he was there, a Maryland defense that was one of the nations most improved during his stint there.

    So yes, take away his last name, I’d take him any day of the week, add on the name and there is no doubt about it.

  27. Podunker,
    I think you’re going a bit overboard there. Mallory has a good track record other than the NM stop. But that’s been a horrible team with a historically horrible D. They make IU look almost respectable. No one’s going to try to recruit against him for his time at NM, it just makes no sense. He can always fire back with the fact that he was on the LSU staff that won the title. Plus he did land some very good recruits while at LSU.

  28. Man, I only hope that opposing coaches use the record of an assistant coach at a previous school where he was a position coach as part of their pitch. I can just see a recruit looking deep into his eyes and saying, “What the **** are you talking about?”

  29. Mallory’s D was ranked 119 and 120 in the Defensive stats that matter. He never would have been considered without his last name. For those saying its a bad team with a notorious bad defense….you can say the same thing about IU.

    I’m all for a guy from Pellini’s staff, and hope he is given the reigns

  30. Don’t intend to go overboard and I’m not saying he’s a bad guy, it’s just that the two years at New Mexico, especially coming from the LSU job, just does not make sense. You would think that no matter what happened with Les Miles, after being a part of a staff that won the National Championship, he’d have had his pick of college coaching jobs. Why then, does he go to New Mexico, which failed miserably? It raises questions and doubts.

    I hope I’m wrong. But IU needs to improve defense in a big way and immediately. It’s absolutely critical Wilson gets the defense right. I would think you’d want one coordinator who arrives without any question marks. Hopefully, Mallory will be a chip off the old block.

  31. Podunker:

    You have no idea what you’re talking about. It is quite possible that he had no indication from Les Miles to expect to NOT be coaching at LSU in 2009. Therefore, he doesn’t seek employment elsewhere. I mean, why would he? Miles hires Chavious after Fullmer is fired at Tennessee and Mallory is left without a job less than 8 weeks before spring practice is set to begin. He finds a job where he could knowing full well it wouldn’t be permanent. What was he supposed to do? Like Mike P. said, I’d take this guy regardless of his last name. You add that to the mix and it is a no brainer!

  32. LTF,

    I didn’t know what happened at LSU.

    I’m now guessing Miles brought in Chavious, expected Mallory to give up his co-coordinator position and Mallory wasn’t having it.

    After 8 years with Miles, the last 4 years of the top 5 rated secondary in the country, I’m sure that wasn’t a pleasant situation.

  33. From what I’ve ready the verdict is split on the 2 hires, but everyone either likes one or the other. Thus, it appears that the Co-defensive Coordinator titles may be a good thing. Mallory will have more influence on the Secondary and Ekeler will have more influence on the Linebackers. Together they will decide on the best scheme give the overall talent. If this tandem works well together and puts their egos aside, this could be a very good Defensive staff. I’m willing to give it a shot, not let’s see if Mallory & Ekeler can convince Shaw and Taylor of their vision for the new IU Defense.

  34. Experience. Both coaches are winners. They have won big games as players and coaches. They will buy into the system. Coach Wilson probably hired Mallory knowing what Mallory would bring to the table as a coach, toughness. Ekeler has helped Nebraska become a top Defense. Remember, Nebraska had some down years. Ekeler has helped them be a force again. You might not be getting the next Jim Harbaugh with these guys, but your getting the same attitude and pedigree. So, I think if Wilson brings them in, with the task ahead of him, he knows what he is doing, especially saying what he has said. Any other connections are just icing on the cake.

  35. LTF; you’re right, I don’t, but at least I admit it. I just know that he’s been coaching the worst defense in the country for two years. And its not like NM was in a real strong conference, either. I’m raising questions, not providing answers. Don’t you think it is reasonable that this potential hire has some questions associated with it? Sorry, I’ve never enjoyed drinking cool aid.

    How does a co-defensive coordinator who has been on staff get pushed out (or depart) from the team he has just helped coach to the BCS championship? By the way, eight weeks before spring practice would be almost right after the championship game in January. Sounds really unfortunate for such a quality coach. Did he quit in anger or was he fired?

    I will admit, Mallory has to be an upgrade over the defensive coaches IU has had for the past few years. Who could be worse? Ekeler, coming from Pelini’s staff, has got to be pretty good. Pelini’s a great defensive coach.

  36. MikeP, if what you say is accurate, how do they dump (or let leave) a guy that was with Miles for eight years and who just helped them win the national championship game?

    And how does that guy end up in NM? I’d really like to know the scoop about that sequence of events.

  37. I have a feeling Ekeler will be the coordinator. I love this hire becuase of not where he is coming from or win/loss but because he is really excitable and passionate. I am tired of a dead sideline and with this hire…no more!

    I will give Mallory the benefit of the doubt and for me it is because of his dad and the IU connection. It will most likely be the only connection hire with IU bloodlines and the family knows coaching so I am fine with it. After reading everything above I think Mallory has done well but was stuck in a bad situation at NM. Read and check out his bio if you have questions…it is from 2008 but impresssive!

  38. The problem, JPat, is the bio from 2008 onward…fired from LSU, then largely at the helm of one of the worst defenses in D-I for the past two seasons. THAT is what worries me–I hope that this wasn’t solely a “please the oldtimers” hire. And, yes, I did attend IU during the Mallory years.

    I’m gonna cross my fingers and hope that this works out–I am pretty fired up about Ekeler though!

  39. Mattsi4,

    My favorite thing about that video was listening to Mallory telling those guys to put their shoulder in the hip, they start juking, put it in their hip.

    Over the last 4 years, I can’t even begin to count the number of missed tackles by the IU secondary where they tried to cut the legs or lost contain following the shoulders and not attacking the hips.


    I really don’t know what happened there. If you look up the reports for Chavis, in the article saying he was going to become the coordinator at LSU, it says both Mallory and his co-coordinator Bradley Dale Peveto were already leaving LSU. Peveto took over the HC job at Northwestern State. I wish I knew for sure the situation there.

    That said, this isn’t drinking the Kool-aid, by any means. I am one of the people usually going after those who do drink it and not look at the issues at hand. Mallory has a good resume and a strong family background in playing and coaching defense.

  40. Mike P,
    I liked that too but my favorite part was him teaching the players to secure the ball carrier, then strip the ball. When was the last time you saw an IU player try to strip the ball? Of course, I guess we acually have to hit them first………

  41. Mike P.:

    You’re right–I shouldn’t have phrased it as such. It seems, from what I’ve read about the LSU situation, that it was more of a head coach pushing both of the co-DC’s aside after a less-than-good defensive year (for an LSU team, anyway) to get a guy that he’d rather have at that time. If I had to guess, Mallory and the other guy were likely told by Miles that they should grab other opportunities if they were made available.

    I guess that I’m just hoping that this wasn’t a nepotism-only hire to satisfy the fanbase, especially when today’s recruits were mere tiny children when Coach Mallory was at IU. I’m also concerned about the co-DC thing–that’s what position coaches are for. I hope that it doesn’t fall into the “Teams that have 2 quarterbacks really have none” trap.

    Anyway, that all aside, I really am excited about IU’s prospects for big improvement in the future. I’m absolutely going to give Coach Wilson the benefit of the doubt to see how he works his plan.

  42. Speedway, I am not an old timer but like the hire. The Mallory’s are the “Bowdens” of IU. That is the best way I can say it. Firing Bill was wrong, flat out wrong. Boosters wanted to get to the Mich, OSU, and PSU level and they let him go. It was like yesterday I watched his teams wax Baylor and Carolina in bowls. We have sucked ever since. Also, who the heck goes to New Mex, have you ever been there?…I get why Doug has struggled lately. With the upgraded facilities at IU, these coaches should do just fine!

    In the case of Bill at IU and Doug at LSU…these coaches do great for several years and have a down season and are let go immediately…it happens all the time. Schools are going to have down years, cannot be perfect all the time! At IU we have had 15 down years and I don’t want 20!

  43. Speedway, I undertand what you are saying..I rolled my eyes when Dak took over for Sampson and when Yeagley’s son was hired but I am ok with this one for whatever reason!

  44. Speedway,

    I understand where you are coming from. I like the Mallory hire, and not because his name is Mallory but for what is resume (minus the last two years) has in it.

    Like you I don’t like the co-coordinator designations. I want one man in charge, one philosiphy, one way of doing business, that way you have one man to blame!

  45. I think the defensive problem at NM actually goes hand and hand with a horrible offense and the actions of the HC/OC.

    2010 offensive output
    ppg 15.8
    ypg 265
    td 10r 11p
    int 15
    rushing 1740y but lost 444y net 1296y
    fumbles 31
    3rd dn conv. 33% red zone opportunities 21 many after the game was lost

    In a middle of the pack conference this team was poor on both sides of the ball, leading me to believe the same about the talent. Plus the HC/OC Locksley has been a PR disaster at NM since leaving Zook’s staff. DM knew Locksley while coaching together at Maryland 1997-2000(in 1997 the Terrapins pass D was 14th in the nation under DM). Locksley took over NM in 2009 and DM joined the new staff after leaving LSU.
    I imagine DM could not wait to get back to the B10 and did not cost a premium. The IU defensive secondary will be in good hands. With the right HC co-coordinators have worked in many programs. Since LSU made the D coaching changes in 09 their performance has slipped a little. Whats up with that.

  46. H.Clarion,
    I thought the same thing about how LSU has lost a step since that time. Miles should have taken the Mich. job when he had a chance. Alot of time circumstances can screw a coach. Thats probably why Lynch didn’t fire anybody. At least he was loyal.

  47. I’d just like someone in the media to question Wilson about two things. First, why co-defensive coordinators? Secondly, is there reason for concern that one of his co-defensive coordinators coached the worst defense in the country the last two years?

    These are fair and reasonable questions. I like Wilson a lot. I was delighted with his hire. I like everything he has said so far. But the first blip on the radar screen was the “news” about co-coordinators. I just don’t believe it works and it’s not good management/leadership principle. The second was Mallory. It just seems strange that you’d go after a guy coming from the NM program. College football is a “what-have-you-done-for- me-lately business, and the last two years of Mallory’s career raise questions. He may be the best defensive coach in the world, but if so, why was his team such a disaster at NM?

    I will say this about the Mallory hire. If he’s got any professional pride and ambition, he will be super-motivated to prove that the record at NM was an anomoly. Unless he’s emotionally and mentally burned out, he should be real excited to have excaped that pergatory. Maybe that works in IU’s favor. Maybe!

  48. Sorry Podunker but anything with Mallory in the name is fine by me ….Not sure why he went to NM but I can tell you this ….aint no players going to NM no matter what …they had games the last couple years where fewer than 5,000 people were in attendance …I live close by in AZ and we went to a game …Absolutely an embarrassing situation at NM …. Someone posted earlier here ” well they aren’t Harbaugh ” …well, maybe Harbaugh isn’t either …I listened to Harbaugh a few weeks ago and he PRAISED his new DC for turning the defense from LAST to FIRST this year ….said he nada to do with that …

  49. HoosierWynn; yea I know. My best freind is an alum of NM. He went to a game last year and afterward told me it was embarrassing. He left after first quarter. That’s my point. How could Mallory have ended up there?

    But it’s a done deal now. So I wish them luck and hope they both arrive with a plan to fix IU’s defense in a hurry. I’ll settle for coaches that can teach fundementals, like tackling and fighting off blocks. And maybe they can pull in a couple solid JC players.

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