Ekeler Happy He Stayed

Mike Ekeler was happy with his decision to return for the 2009 season. Now, he's getting a pay raise. Ekeler is one of 9 NU assistants rewarded from Bo Pelini's contract extension. Ekeler 's salary increases from $120,000 to $150,000.

Ekeler turned down an offer from South Florida over the off-season. The Bulls wanted the NU assistant to become their defensive coordinator.

Ekeler says he's happy with his choice, even before Monday's pay raise. "The past is past and I'm just thankful to be here," Ekeler said.

"We didn't know what to expect about the Ekeler situation," junior linebacker Blake Lawrence said. "But when he came out and said 'Absolutely, 100-percent, I'm happy being here.' He said he was excited to work with us. If he left, he would've left a product unfinished and that's not what Coach Ekeler does."

Ekeler also cites his loyalty to Bo Pelini for his decision to stay in Lincoln. "He was very supportive," Ekeler said. The two worked together at LSU before Pelini hired Ekeler at Nebraska. He serves as the Huskers' linebackers coach.