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North Texas Football Staff Additions

Seth Littrell hit the ground running after being hired as the new North Texas head football coach last month. Lets take a look at the staff that Coach Littrell has put together thus far.

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For those of you still playing catch up, North Texas recently hired coach Seth Littrell to take over the head coach position after a disappointing 1-11 season. Essentially everything you could want to know about Littrell can be found here. What cannot be found in that rather well-written article are the new members of Littrell's staff that hope to turn the Mean Green around next season. Almost immediately following his hiring, Littrell expressed his desire to put together a good staff that understands how to recruit Texas high school football and take advantage of the recruiting ground in North Texas' backyard. Here are the additions that Littrell has added thus far.

Graham Harrell

New position: Offensive Coordinator 
Former position: Washington State receivers coach

Harrell finds himself with the Mean Green after two seasons with Washington State. Graham Harrell is widely known as being one of the best quarterbacks in Texas Tech history. If you have any interest in college football whatsoever then you probably remember this game-winning touchdown pass against Texas in 2008.

Along with a knowledge of high powered offenses such as Littrell's, Harrell brings an ability to recruit that is sorely needed in the current program. Being a born and raised Texan, Harrell played quarterback for his father at Ennis High School located just south of Dallas. He set Texas high school football records for; single-season passing yards, career passing yards, career touchdown passes, and single-season pass completions. His knowledge of the area and very impressive resume should help North Texas begin to recruit exceptional local talent.

Mike Ekeler

New position: Defensive coordinator and linebackers coach
Former position: Georgia linebackers coach

Some Mean Green fans are a bit skeptical about the addition of Ekeler to the North Texas football staff. Personally, I think he's a great fit into a fairly young and energetic staff that Littrell is putting together. Before spending time at USC and Georgia as a linebackers coach, Ekeler was a co-defensive coordinator at Indiana with Littrell. His collegiate coaching career began in 2008 at Nebraska under Bo Pelini as the linebackers coach for the Cornhuskers. In each of his three seasons, he helped lead one of NCAA's top defenses. Between 2009 and 2011 Nebraska at some point held a top 10 ranking in pass efficiency defense, scoring defense, total defense and rushing defense. The energy and excitement that Ekeler provides on the sidelines will be a much-needed boost for a Mean Green defense that ranked 117th in total defense last season. However, he may need to tone it down just a bit to avoid a targeting call.

Troy Reffett

New position: Assistant head coach/safeties coach
Former position: Memphis Cornerback coach

With all of the offensive minds being added to the North Texas staff, Reffett just might be the best addition due to his defensive background. Reffett spent a year at Memphis before accepting a position with North Texas. However, it is his experience before Memphis that is the most interesting. Prior to landing at Memphis, Reffet was the defensive coordinator for six seasons at Lousiana-Monroe. Reffett took charge of a ULM defense in 2008 that was ranked 107th in total defense. By 2009, ULM improved to 26th in total defense. The Warhawks would keep improving and eventually find themselves ranked 11th in total defense under the direction of Reffett. The guy understands defense.

Possibly just as important as his knowledge of defense is his knowledge of recruiting. Reffett is a graduate of UTEP and served as their recruiting coordinator from 1996 to 2001. Yet another assistant with a Texas background will add to the advantage that North Texas is attempting to give itself in local recruiting.

Joel Filani

New position: Outside receivers coach
Former position: Wazzu State assistant

Filani is a young addition to the staff that shows potential but still has a lot to prove. However, his short career thus far has given reasons for Mean Green fans to be excited about the team's future passing offense. In his one year as a Washington State offensive assistant, he helped the Cougars become the top-ranked team in receiving yards per game. Filani played wide receiver at Texas Tech and can hopefully develop a large number of young receivers on the North Texas roster.

Tommy Mainord

New position: Inside receivers coach
Former position: Kentucky receivers coach

Mainord brings years of Texas collegiate coaching experience to Mean Green staff that is already loaded with guys that know and understand Texas. Before becoming the receivers coach for Kentucky (stop me if you've heard this one before) Mainord spent time at Texas Tech. As an outside receivers coach, Mainord helped to improve an already impressive Texas Tech passing attack in each of the three seasons he was there. By his last season, Texas Tech ranked second in passing offense and 20th in scoring offense. Prior to Tech, Mainord spent time at Lamar, Sam Houston State, and Tarleton State.

Brad Davis

New position: Offensive line coach
Former position: East Carolina offensive line coach

Davis spent his college playing career at Oklahoma with Seth Littrell. During their time at OU, the Sooners won the 2000 national championship. Before spending the last season at East Carolina, Davis was the co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach as James Madison. His offense at James Madison ranked 10th nationally in total offense and set school records in numerous passing categories. His knowledge of pass-heavy offenses will be valuable and Littrell looks to spread the ball around in his new offense.