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Former Rutgers DB coach, NU LB coach latest to interview
Posted Feb 23, 2009 by Brett McMurphy
Updated Feb 23, 2009 at 07:10 PM
Former Rutgers secondary coach Chris Demarest and Nebraska linebackers coach Mike Ekeler are the latest to interview with University of South Florida coach Jim Leavitt about joining the Bulls’ staff.
Demarest has been out of coaching since he resigned at Rutgers Feb. 28, 2008. Ekeler, who just completed his first season at NU and is being considered for the defensive coordinator position at USF, played at Kansas State when Leavitt coached there.
Demarest, 44, and Ekeler, 37, did not immediately return calls Monday.
Leavitt is trying to hire a defensive coordinator, a secondary coach and either an offensive coordinator or wide receivers coach.
Demarest was arrested and charged with domestic assault in July 2007. The charges were dismissed Feb. 6, 2008 after Demarest completed an anger and stress management program, the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger reported. However, Demarest still resigned from RU three weeks later.
The Star-Ledger reported Demarest was considered one of Rutgers’ most popular and highly regarded assistants. He also was a key recruiter in the Miami area for the Scarlet Knights.
Demarest, a New Jersey native, spent four seasons at Rutgers, including his final one in 2007 when he was promoted to assistant head coach. Before Rutgers, Demarest was defensive backs coach at N.C. State (2000-03) and a graduate assistant coaching cornerbacks at Florida State (1998-99).
He also was a graduate assistant at Rutgers (1989) and worked on the staffs of East Carolina (1990), Northeastern (1991-92), East Stroudsburg (1993), Millersville (1994), and Lehigh (1994-97).
Ekeler is not as experienced. Last year’s stint at Nebraska was his first season as a college assistant coach. He was, however, named one of the Big 12’s top 10 recruiters by Rivals.com
Before coming to Nebraska, Ekeler was at LSU for three seasons (2005-07), two years as a graduate assistant and one season as an intern. In 2003-04, he was a graduate assistant at Oklahoma. In 2002, he was an assistant coach at Manhattan (Kan.) High School and in 1999-2001 he was a volunteer coach at Omaha Skutt High School.
He played for Kansas State from 1991-94.
Others who have interviewed for the three openings on USF’s staff, include former Kansas State and Kentucky offensive coordinator Ron Hudson and former Cincinnati defensive coordinator Joe Tresey. Also, former Bowling Green WR coach Stephen Bird and former Utah State WR coach Greg Stevens are being considered for positions on the offensive staff.