Report: Gene Chizik Could Leave UNC, Tar Heels To Hire Mike Ekeler

    Gene Chizik could leave UNC, and the Tar Heels' impending hiring of Mike Ekeler could be telling of a changing of the guard.

    February 9, 2017

    Mike Ekeler reportedly joining the North Carolina Tar Heels could be telling for Gene Chizik’s future with the team.

    The North Carolina Tar Heels are reportedly set to add to their coaching staff by hiring North Texas defensive coordinator Mike Ekeler, but it comes with an important asterisk.

    According to FootballScoop, current defensive coordinator Gene Chizik may not be long for the coaching ranks. Chizik is “considering stepping back from coaching, with a move into TV a strong possibility.”

    There’s been considerable turnover on the defensive side of the coaching staff this offseason for the Tar Heels. Defensive line coach Tray Scott departed for Ole Miss, and has since left the Rebels for Georgia, while secondary coach Charlton Warren opted to join the Tennessee Volunteers.

    With Ekeler’s addition, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Chizik also opted to exit from the program after only two seasons on the job. North Carolina ranked middle-of-the-pack in defense this past season, though the unit has shown tremendous improvement over his tenure. Before Chizik came to Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels gave up 498 yards of total offense (ranking No. 120 nationally). He has steadily decreased that number to 435 yards allowed in 2015 and 408 in the 2016 season.

    Ekeler has held positions at several programs, including Georgia, Indiana, LSU, Nebraska, Oklahoma and USC.

    He spent just the 2016 season with North Texas, where his defense held opponents to 8.7 points per game fewer than the year prior.

    Elektra played his college football at Kansas State under Bill Snyder.

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