February 24, 2017

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) North Carolina has hired Mike Ekeler from North Texas to coach its linebackers.

The school announced Ekeler's hiring Friday, filling the opening created when Gene Chizik stepped down earlier this month.

Ekeler spent last season as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach the Mean Green, who are coached by former North Carolina assistant Seth Littrell. He also worked with current defensive coordinator John Papuchis at LSU and Nebraska.

Coach Larry Fedora calls Ekeler ''a well-respected, energetic coach'' whose transition to UNC will be made easier by his prior experience with Papuchis.

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