Mike Ekeler, who has been on staff's that produced some of the nation's finest defenses, joined the USC staff in February of 2013 as the linebackers coach.
Ekeler, 41, was Indiana's co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach the past 2 years (2011-12).
Before that, he spent 3 years (2008-10) as Nebraska's linebackers coach, where he was involved with some of the nation's most successful defenses. In 2010, Nebraska was third nationally in pass efficiency defense, fifth in pass defense, ninth in scoring defense and 11th in total defense. In 2009, the Cornhuskers led the country in scoring defense and pass efficiency defense, and were seventh in total defense and ninth in rushing defense. He coached NFL draft picks Lavonte David, a 2010 All-American first teamer when he set the school season tackles record, Phillip Dillard and Cody Glenn. Nebraska won the Big 12 North Division title each year he was on staff and played in the 2009 Gator Bowl and 2009 and 2010 Holiday Bowls.
He was at LSU for 3 seasons (2005-07), the first 2 years as a defensive graduate assistant and the last year as an intern. Each season, the Tigers were third nationally in total defense (the 242.8 average in 2006 was the school's fewest yards allowed in 30 years). LSU won the BCS championship in 2007, and also captured the 2007 Sugar Bowl and the 2005 Peach Bowl (as the SEC West champion). He worked with All-American first teamers Glenn Dorsey, LaRon Landry, Kyle Williams and Claude Wroten.
He was a defensive graduate assistant at Oklahoma for 2 years (2003-04) as the Sooners played in the BCS championship game both seasons (they lost to USC in the 2005 game). In 2003, Oklahoma was second nationally in pass defense, third in both total defense and pass efficiency defense and fifth in scoring defense.
After spending time in private business as the owner of an Omaha (Neb.)-based sales company, he began his coaching career as an assistant at Omaha's Skutt High for 3 years (1999-2001) and then at Manhattan (Kan.) High in 2002.
He played linebacker and on special teams for 4 years (1991-94) at Kansas State as the Wildcats played in the 1993 Copper Bowl and 1994 Aloha Bowl squads. As a senior in 1994, he became the only Wildcat ever appointed captain specifically by longtime head coach Bill Snyder.
A Big 12 All-Academic selection, he earned his bachelor's degree in social science from Kansas State in 1995.
He was a member of the 1988 Nebraska Class B state championship team as a linebacker and wide receiver at Blair (Neb.) High.
He was born on Oct. 4, 1971. He and his wife, Barbie, have a son, J.J., 12, and daughters Cameryn, 11, Abigail, 9, and Bella, 5.
BIRTHDAY: Oct. 4, 1971
NFL STARS: Glenn Dorsey, LaRon Landry, Kyle Williams, Lavonte David