Josh Heupel has officially completed his first coaching staff at Tennessee.

The final hire for the Volunteers comes with the addition of special teams coordinator/outside linebackers coach Mike Ekeler. Ekeler previously served as the special teams coordinator at North Texas.

If you missed it, we previously wrote about the interesting lengths Ekeler has been known to go to win a recruiting battle.

Heupel and Ekeler have a history together as they both held graduate assistant roles during the same time at Oklahoma early in their coaching careers.

“Mike is one of the most engaging and charismatic leaders I know,” Heupel said of Ekeler in a released statement. “The energy he will bring to our football team, in addition to his track record of guiding successful special teams and defensive units will enhance our program. We are excited to welcome Coach Ekeler and his family to our Tennessee football family and look forward to watching him make a difference in the lives of our student-athletes.”

During his coaching career, Ekeler has worked for Mark Richt, Bob Stoops, Les Miles, Bo Pelini and Clay Helton, among others.

Ekeler played for Bill Snyder at Kansas State during the coach’s first run at the school. Ekeler was a team captain during his senior season and was named National Special Teams Player of the Year in 1994 by George Michael Sports Machine.

Mike Ekeler coaching resume

  • 2021-present: Tennessee, Outside Linebackers/Special Teams Coordinator
  • 2020: North Texas, Special Teams Coordinator
  • 2019: Kansas, Inside Linebackers/Special Teams Coordinator
  • 2017-18: North Carolina, Linebackers
  • 2016: North Texas, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • 2014-15: Georgia, Inside Linebackers/Defensive Special Teams Coordinator
  • 2013: Southern Cal, Linebackers
  • 2011-12: Indiana: Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
  • 2008-10: Nebraska, Linebackers
  • 2007: LSU, Defensive Intern
  • 2005-06: LSU, Defensive Graduate Assistant
  • 2003-04: Oklahoma, Defensive Graduate Assistant
  • 2002: Manhattan (Kansas) High School, Assistant Coach
  • 1999-2001: Omaha (Nebraska) Skutt High School, Volunteer Coach

Tennessee assistant coaching staff for 2021

  • Alex Golesh – Offensive coordinator/Tight ends
  • Joey Halzle – Quarterbacks
  • Glen Elarbee – Offensive line
  • Kodi Burns – Receivers
  • Jerry Mack – Running backs
  • Tim Banks – Defensive coordinator
  • Rodney Garner – Defensive line
  • Will Martinez – Secondary
  • Brian Jean-Mary – Linebackers
  • Mike Ekeler – Special Teams Coordinator/Outside linebackers

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Tennessee online sports betting officially launched on November 1, 2020, and many of the largest sportsbooks are live and operating in the volunteer state. Tennessee is only one of a handful of SEC football states with legalized sports betting.