Mike Ekeler named Georgia’s inside linebackers coach

Mike Ekeler was named Georgia’s inside linebackers coach on Thursday.

Ekeler most recently was linebackers coach at Southern Cal but was not retained when the Trojans hired Steve Sarkisian to replace Lane Kiffin as head coach earlier this year. Ekeler interviewed with coach Mark Richt and defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt this past Friday in Athens. His hiring completes the defensive staff, which has operated one assistant short for the past two weeks.

“I was extremely impressed with his knowledge and energy during the interview process,” Richt said in UGA’s news release on the hiring. “He was highly recommended by many coaches and administrators with whom I talked and we’re very excited that he’ll be joining our staff.”

Georgia had to completely rebuild its defensive coaching staff after secondary coach Scott Lakatos resigned and defensive coordinator left for Louisville on Jan. 12. After Pruitt was hired just two days later, the Bulldogs has since been joined by Kevin Sherrer, who will coach outside linebackers and star and nickel defensive backs, and Tracy Rocker, who will coach defensive line and ends, including the former will linebacker position. Special Teams responsibilities among the staff are still to be determined according to Richt.

“I’m honored to represent the University of Georgia and Coach Richt,” Ekeler said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to supporting Coach Pruitt and our entire coaching staff in every way I can. Our family can’t wait to move to Athens and get started.”

Ekeler and his wife, Barbie, will be moving to Athens from Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. They have four children: J.J., 12, and daughters Cameryn, 11, Abigail, 9, and Bella, 5.