Saturday, December 18, 2010

Unofficially Official – Could A Mallory Be Back At IU?

Is a Mallory returning to Indiana?

All signs point to it.

No, it’s not Bill, the former Hoosier head coach and the winningest coach in program history. He’s retired and living in Bloomington.

His son, Doug, is reportedly coming as IU’s new co-defensive coordinator. He will share the duties with Nebraska linebacker coach Mike Ekeler on new coach Kevin Wilson’s staff.

Nothing is official yet, but if you believe, which is usually accurate, expect it will be soon.

Mallory spent the last two seasons as the defensive coordinator for a New Mexico team that went 1-11 this season and allowed 44.3 points a game.

Does that worry you?

Hold that thought.

Before that Mallory was the defensive coordinator at Louisiana State. He’d previously been the secondary coach at LSU, Oklahoma State and Maryland. From 1994-96, he was the secondary coach and special teams coach under his father at Indiana. He also spent three years as the defensive coordinator at Western Kentucky and one year as the offensive line coach at Army.

Okay, back to New Mexico. It allowed at least 40 points seven times this season. That might make you think, what the heck is Wilson doing? Consider that the Lobos have never been a powerhouse, and weren’t exactly loaded with talent this season, so don’t hold that against Mallory.

What can you hold him to? Well his LSU secondary led the SEC in pass efficiency in 2005 and ’07, finished second in ‘07. That ’07 defense allowed just 182.7 passing yards and intercepted 23 passes, fourth in the nation.

The Tigers won the national championship in 2007.

The 2006 pass defense allowed 145.7 passing yards, third in the country. They were No. 4 in scoring defense (12.6 points) and allowed 11 passing touchdowns in 13 games.

In other words, Mallory is pretty good when he has talent to work with.

Mallory has strong Big Ten connections. He was a four-year letterman at defensive back at Michigan, earning honorable mention All-America honors as a senior.

His two brothers also coach. Curt is the co-defensive coordinator at Illinois. Mike is the special teams coach for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints.

Bill Mallory won 69 games in 13 years at Indiana with six bowl games. He won 165 games overall.

Yeah, bringing the Mallory name back to IU would be a good thing.

Ekeler has worked with Wilson before. He was a defensive graduate assistant at Oklahoma in 2003 and 2004 while Wilson was the offensive coordinator there. Indications are he’ll join the Hoosiers after Nebraska’s Dec. 30 Holiday Bowl game against Washington.

Ekeler is in his third season at Nebraska. The defense allowed 17.2 points and 304.2 yards this season en route to a 10-3 record.

Before that Ekeler spent three years at LSU as a graduate assistant coach and intern. In each of those years the tigers defense ranked third in total defense.

Ekeler was a four-year letterman at linebacker at Kansas State. He also played on a high school state title team in Nebraska.

All this reflects Wilson’s emphasis on surrounding himself with coaches and players from winning backgrounds.

Again, while nothing is official, Ekeler told the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal-Star that, “I can’t comment until it all becomes official at Indiana.”

That’s about as unofficially official as you can get.


It looks like the Big Ten will reconsider the “Legends” and “Leaders” names for its new football divisions. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany didn’t expect the negative backlash those names generated. The conference is likely to take another crack at it. Will they get it right this time? We’ll have to see.

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