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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

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.

Reader Comments

Por (Alfred E) on February 23, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Coach Leavitt, Please don’t hire a guy who assaults women, USF deserves better.

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Por (Tim Williams) on February 23, 2009 (Suggest removal)

one woman not many as you put it and beside you don’t know the full story so give the guy a chance will ya. He did what was required by the law in Jersey. Its the self righteous that want to forever put someone down and hold their foot on them so to speak. My God why is it always a shark fest when the MEDIA digs up an incident that should have been left alone. 
  He would be a great hire for the Bulls.

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Por (Alfred E) on February 23, 2009 (Suggest removal)

The incident took place in a public place, where it was witnessed by many, including an off-duty police officer.

Real men don’t assault women, lowlifes do.

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Por (David M.) on February 24, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Maybe she deserved it.  He paid for his actions…time to move on..i agree this would be a very good hire for D-backs coach and recruiting…

Lets pay the big bucks and bring back the D-line coach that went to Florida for Defensive Coordinator.

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Por (Al) on February 24, 2009 (Suggest removal)

What a great role model for young football players.

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Por (Darryl) on February 24, 2009 (Suggest removal)

This was in July 2007, and according to Long Branch police, Demarest never hit anyone. At 3am in a bar, his girlfriend had become drunk, started causing a scene, and refused to leave. He was observed grabbing and pushing her, presumably to get her to go home. Both were escorted out of the bar by security. Officers located the woman and observed bruises and abrasions on her arms, nothing more. According to police, she refused medical attention and refused to apply for a restraining order, and also never sought to file charges against Demarest. Since the off duty cop saw it, the cop probably had to file the charge.

Too bad for him, but probably not that big a deal.

“Nothing good happens after 3am” especially in a bar.

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Por (Darryl) on February 24, 2009 (Suggest removal)

The prosecutor in the case dropped the charges.

Municipal Prosecutor Steven C. Rubin said in November 2008 he saw no need to pursue the assault charge because THE INCIDENT WAS MORE OF AN ARGUMENT THAN A PHYSICAL ASSAULT.

That’s the freaking PROSECUTOR saying that!

In that case, can we remind everyone of the truth here and not destroy the guy if he gets hired?

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Por (Alfred E) on February 24, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Arguments are verbal not physical…bruises and abrasions are caused by battery…not by verbal disagreement.

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Por (charles fishbein) on February 25, 2009 (Suggest removal)

I have known Chris Demarist for a long time. I speak with him almost every day. The guy is by far the best option for USF football. If they hired him he would be a monster recruiter for them. While at NC State and Rutgers he landed top flight players. If USF was smart they would make this hire yesterday. This other guy would come in here and leave after a year or two. I feel that given the opportunity that Demo would stay for a long time.

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Por (Darryl) on February 25, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Alfred, then go argue with the prosecutor and the girlfriend. He grabbed her arm to stop her from making a scene, and she jerked her arm away. That’s all it was. That’s what caused the bruise and abrasion. The prosecutor said it was more like an argument (at 3am in a bar, no less) that an assault. But you know more, right? You were there? Stop being a moron. besides, he has no history prior or since of anything, and he even went to anger management to smooth things over. Nobody else involved seems to have a beef with it, just you. They had plenty of witnesses - male and female - to say otherwise, and nobody did.

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Por (Dan) on February 25, 2009 (Suggest removal)

From what I read on the guy’s recruiting and coaching ability, he is a real up and comer, just what we need. He recruits well here in FL and around NY/NJ area. The people in the program seem to really like him, like he is a head coach in the making. Plus he know Rutgers stiff from the inside, which would help us since Wally’s gone. Besides, time is running out.

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Por (David) on February 25, 2009 (Suggest removal)

You can count on most of our assistant coaches to stay for a year or two and move on, just like most programs that are new and growing. I don’t have a problem with that. I’m impressed with the resumes of the people we are getting to interview. It’s a terrific opportunity to get some aggressive people in. And if they stay for 9 years, even better. To be honest, I wasn’t sure we would even get good people to interview, and we really are.

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