Report: Mike Ekeler Joining UNC Football Staff

The addition of a new football assistant coach seems to answer the uncertain status of Gene Chizik.

Larry Fedora is adding Mike Ekeler to North Carolina's coaching staff, according to FootballScoop.

Ekeler comes from North Texas, where he was the defensive coordinator.

UNC has been awaiting a decision from Gene Chizik about whether he'll remain in Chapel Hill and this news would support the notion that Chizik has made his decision to exit the program.

The 2016 season was Ekeler's first at North Texas (under former UNC offensive coordinator Seth Littrell). Prior to North Texas, Ekeler coached linebackers at Georgia, Southern Cal, Indiana and Nebraska.

During his three-year stint at Nebraska, Ekeler coached alongside John Papuchis who is now on UNC's defensive staff. Papuchis would be the obvious candidate to share co-defensive coordinator duties as he was a defensive coordinator for three seasons at Nebraska.

Chizik has been UNC's defensive coordinator for the last two seasons, including the 2015 campaign where his unit was the nation’s most improved Power 5 defense in points allowed per game.

Ekeler becomes the third offseason staff hire by Fedora, joining defensive backs coach Terry Joseph and defensive line coach Deke Adams.

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