New North Texas coach Seth Littrell announced the hiring of Mike Ekeler as co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach and Troy Reffett as assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator Wednesday, along with four assistants to compete his staff.
Also hired were Derrick LeBlanc (defensive line), Nate Brown (cornerbacks), Zack Womack (strength and conditioning) and Shane Elder (assistant AD for football operations).
Ekeler spent the past two seasons as inside linebackers coach at Georgia and has been at USC, Indiana, Nebraska, LSU and Oklahoma. Last season, Georgia ranked eighth in the nation in total defense.
Reffett joins the Mean Green after spending one season with Memphis as the cornerbacks coach. The Tigers had 12 interceptions and went 9-4 to earn a berth in the Birmingham Bowl. He also spent six years with Louisiana-Monroe.
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After helping lead TCU to the semifinal of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships and going 4-0 in singles and doubles, Cameron Norrie was named Big 12 Player of the Week.
Norrie, a sophomore from New Zealand, picked up two victories over ranked opponents in singles over the weekend, beating No. 33 Nick Crystal of Southern Cal 6-1, 6-2 and No. 27 Ryan Shane of No. 1-ranked Virginia 7-5, 7-5. The victories give Norrie 10 wins this season — eight over ranked opponents — and a 4-1 mark in dual matches at the No. 1 position.
TCU, the highest ranked private school in the country at No. 3, will play its only match at home this month at 1 p.m. Saturday against No. 61 Cal Poly.
Big 12 income
The Big 12 reported a record $268 million income during the 2014-15 fiscal year, a $40 million increase from 2014 to 2015, according to tax filings obtained by USA Today. That $40 million jump came in large part due to a $32 million bump in bowl revenue created by the College Football Playoff and an $8 million jump in television revenue. The SEC reported $527 million in total revenue, an average of more than $37 million a school.
Baylor football: Baylor and Ole Miss have reached a verbal agreement to open the 2020 football season in Houston in the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff, sources told ESPN. The game would be played Sept. 5, 2020, at Houston’s NRG Stadium.
North Texas tennis: Senior Kamilla Galieva of Russia was named Conference USA Co-Player of the Week, after clinching the Mean Green’s victory over No. 36 Oklahoma on Sunday with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Zita Engbroks.
Iowa athletics: Athletic director Gary Barta and university president Bruce Harreld reached agreement on a five-year contract extension that guarantees Barta $4.6 million through June 30, 2021.
Clemson football: Coach Dabo Swinney announced that wide receiver Germone Hopper will transfer and play his final college season elsewhere. Hopper plans to graduate this summer, then play for another school this fall.