Tag:Kevin Wilson
Posted on: February 10, 2011 3:29 pm
 

Indiana loses fourth assistant coach in a month

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

When last we checked on Indiana, new head coach Kevin Wilson was having some problems retaining his even-newer assistants. His offensive coordinator had gone back to Boise State, his defensive line coach had defected to Michigan, his secondary coach has fled for Nebraska. The one bright spot was that he'd stopped some of the bleeding by hiring a bright up-and-comer to handle the running backs, Air Force running game coordinator Jemal Singleton.

Consider the bleeding officially resumed :
Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy has completed his coaching staff, adding Jemal Singleton to the staff ...

“I'm very excited about the opportunity to work at Oklahoma State and with Coach Gundy,” Singleton said. “It's a phenomenal program. It's a school I knew a lot about while growing up in Texas and I'm excited to now be a Cowboy myself.”
Though Singleton's exact role in Stillwater is still to be determined, it's expected he'll coach either receivers or running backs.

Also to be determined is why so many coaches seem so eager to leave Bloomington the moment they step into it. On the one hand, all four of the programs who have swooped in the for the new Hooiser assistants have been much larger, more established programs than Wilson's, and all four departed assistants have probably received not-insignificant raises to make the move.

On the other, wouldn't we expect one of these coaches to show some level of loyalty to Wilson and their new employer by sticking it out with the Hoosiers for longer than it takes to unpack the moving van? Is there something about Wilson or the program so toxic that one good look is all it takes to send them fleeing?

We're not likely to get answers to that anytime soon, but unfortunately for Wilson and the Hoosiers, at this rate it looks like the Indiana coaching staff isn't going to be settled anytime soon, either.

Posted on: February 4, 2011 12:21 pm
 

Unhappy Husker signee: 'They broke the guy code'

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

When we last discussed the Nebraska coaching situation, Huskers secondary coach Marvin Sanders was expected to be on his way out. Expectation became reality later in the afternoon as Sanders officially resigned . With Indiana coach Kevin Wilson having told the world on Signing Day that one of his coaches had already been hired as Sanders' replacement, the timing of Sanders' departure looks curious: why wait until the day after Signing Day to make public information that's clearly been available for some time?

The easy answer is "because Bo Pelini didn't want to risk scaring off any of the Huskers' commitments," and that's why one of those commitments -- Spring (Tx.) cornerback Charles Jackson -- isn't pleased at all about having been kept in the dark , per the Omaha World-Herald:
“I'm not in the happiest mood right now ... I was pretty close with [Sanders]. He was there one day, and then he just left. It was like, OK, Coach Sanders isn't going to be coaching me. Who's going to be coaching me?" ...

Thursday night at 8, Jackson still hadn't heard from Sanders, Bo Pelini or anyone else at Nebraska.

“I think they should've told me before I signed,” Jackson said. “I didn't have any idea. They broke the guy code" ...

Did Jackson feel like Nebraska waited to make the Sanders announcement in order to secure his commitment?

“Maybe just a little bit. Yeah, probably. But you never know, he probably resigned the day of signing day. I really don't know what went on. It's just been on my mind all day.

“I'm just trying to figure out why I wasn't notified about the situation.”

Ironically, Pelini had been asked about the impact of staff changes on recruits the day before and had said that "as long as you're honest with them every step of the way ... you develop trust." From Jackson's perspective, at least, it appears the Huskers have not been that honest and that trust has not been developed.

Even that won't be enough to keep Jackson out of Lincoln, though; he said he remains "excited" to honor his NLI signature and play for new coach Corey Raymond, and added he would have made the same decision even if he'd been informed of Sanders' plans beforehand. But with rumors of further changes to the staff swirling, Jackson may not wind up the only 2011 Husker signee whom arrives on campus less than entirely thrilled with how his new head coach has handled an increasingly awkward-looking situation.

Posted on: February 3, 2011 5:04 pm
 

Indiana struggling to hang onto coaches

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Here's some good news for the beleagured Indiana fans out there: your highly-respected new coach, Kevin Wilson, has shown a keen eye in assembling his first Hoosier coaching staff, hiring the kinds of hot up-and-coming coaches that bigger-name programs would be happy to have.

Here's the bad news: those bigger-name programs didn't even wait for the ink to dry on the new Hoosier coaches' contracts before proving exactly how happy to have them they'd be. Wilson was forced to spend part of his Signing Day press conference announcing that two more assistant coaches have taken other jobs, bringing the total up to three after new offensive coordinator Brent Pease returned to Boise State to take the same position following Bryan Harsin's departure to Texas.

One of the two new ex-Hoosiers we mentioned already today : cornerbacks coach Corey Raymond, who appears all but set to coach the secondary at Nebraska. The other is defensive tackles coach Jerry Montgomery, who will now coach the defensive line at Michigan instead.

Both are young coaches that appear to have bright futures, with Raymond a former LSU star and NFL veteran who'd coached the corners at Utah State the past two seasons; Montgomery is a former Iowa player who's gone from Northern Iowa to Wyoming to Indiana and now the Wolverines in just three seasons. But Wilson isn't wasting time mourning his losses, having already filled one of his vacancies with Air Force running backs coach Jemal Singleton, another with Nebraska program intern Brett Dierson, and not exactly shedding tears over the departures:
Wilson explained that he initially wanted Dierson from the beginning, while co-defensive coordinators Doug Mallory and Mike Ekeler liked Raymond.

“We’re kind of flip-flopping, one of the guys I wanted they didn’t get and vice-versa. Of guys we went after, we’re going to land on our feet in great shape,” Wilson said.

He concluded that he would rather have a coach at Indiana who wants to be here.

“If it’s better for a guy to be somewhere else, it’s better for his family, better for his career, it’s better he go there than be here,” Wilson said. “I only want guys who really want to be here, are excited about being here.”
That's the right thing for Wilson to say. But more helpful than anything he says will be just keeping the likes of Michigan, Boise, and Nebraska away from what's left of his staff.
Posted on: January 19, 2011 5:29 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2011 5:30 pm
 

Headset Reset: Welcome to the Pac-12 and Big Ten

Posted by Adam Jacobi

"Headset Reset " is the College Football Blog's series reviewing the 22 new head coaches in the FBS and what they'll need to accomplish in their new jobs to succeed. In this edition: the four new head coaches in the Pac-12 and Big Ten.

DAVID SHAW, Stanford

Why him? Shaw represents a reaffirmation of the Jim Harbaugh regime, which rose from doormat to Pac-10 power with Shaw as offensive coordinator. Stanford AD Bob Bowlsby didn't get Boise State head coach Chris Petersen during negotiations after Harbaugh's departure, but Bowlsby's bona fides in football coach hiring are pretty solid. By hiring Shaw (and interviewing two other in-house candidates), Stanford has told its fans, "it ain't broke, and we're not fixin'."  By 2014, Shaw will need to: perpetuate Stanford's recent successes. Harbaugh isn't the first coach to win at Stanford, and he's also not the first coach to bolt for greener pastures at the first opportunity. So being that Stanford's main opposition in the Pac-12 North is Oregon and four programs with a light history of success (and let's ignore Stanford's time in that role since 40 years ago), there's an opportunity for the Cardinal to assert some authority.  Chances Shaw gets what he needs? Pretty good. Stanford's athletic department has a surprising amount of money, and with Oregon and Nike trying to start an arms race with the rest of the Pac-12, Stanford is one of the few schools that can probably keep up -- as long as it still wants to, anyway.

JON EMBREE, Colorado

Why him? Well, let's just not ask Bill McCartney that question. Past that, Embree was hired because he's a former Buffalo, and it would take a Colorado man to take this job and not flee the first time the Buffaloes put together seven wins in a season. By 2014, Embree will need to: get his team competitive with USC -- or whoever else is atop the Pac-12 South. There's no indication that Colorado's better or even as good as the rest of the division it's entering. CU can thank Dan Hawkins in some respects for that, but really, Colorado football hasn't been relevant for almost 15 years (yes, CU went to two consecutive Big XII Championships ... and lost them by a hilarious combined score of 112-6). Continued sub-mediocrity won't fly, especially as the Buffaloes try to acclimate themselves to a new conference without the strong tradition of success the Big XII had. Chances Embree gets what he needs? Not great. Colorado has struggled with keeping its football program relevant ever since the shared title year of 1990, even with some apparently decent head coaching hires. The move from the Big XII North to the Pac-12 South won't help lighten the Buffaloes' burden any, either. Colorado's struggles could very well be an institutional problem, not a coaching problem, and if that's the case it's probably easy to see how the Jon Embree Era will end in Boulder.

KEVIN WILSON, Indiana

Why him? This might actually be the most surprising hire of 2010, mainly because we didn't know Indiana could do something like this. The Hoosiers tabbed the vaunted Oklahoma offensive coordinator for his first head coaching gig, and they briefly had Boise State WR coach Brent Pease as the offensive coordinator. Hello, points! Problem was, Boise State's OC position opened up, and Pease went back to Boise for that gig, as would most sane coaches. This is still Indiana we're talking about. By 2014, Wilson will need to: prove that his offensive genius wasn't just "hand the ball to Adrian Peterson or DeMarco Murray and watch what happens." It likely wasn't, of course; Texas ably demonstrated this year that there's no such thing as a team too talented to get run into the ground by mediocre coaching. But still, the question remains; what's Wilson going to do when week in and week out, his players are inferior to their opponents? Chances Wilson gets what he needs? The better question here is whether Indiana gets what it needs, which is a solid football program led by a solid coach. That seems unlikely. Either Wilson fails badly in Bloomington like pretty much everyone before him, or he actually puts together a winning season, and starts getting wooed by job offers. What's going to keep Wilson in town when that starts happening? He doesn't have any prior connection to Indiana (both the school and the state itself), and his salary is only ("only") $1.2 million. As soon as he wins six games in a season up there, he's getting phone calls.

BRADY HOKE, Michigan

Why him? Michigan went back to its roots by hiring a former assistant, effectively admitting that the Rich Rodriguez dalliance was a mistake (also conveying that message: firing Rich Rodriguez) and that there was a formula to be followed. Hoke has whipped two programs into shape in short order, and he'll need to do it again at Michigan, which is just a mess. By 2014, Hoke will need to: have Michigan reloading instead of rebuilding. Michigan's biggest challengers in its new division are Nebraska and maybe Iowa or Northwestern. Hoke has no excuses for not routinely making the conference championship (or if not, being just a game out). Beating Ohio State would also be strongly recommended. Chances Hoke gets what he needs? Pretty darn good. Michigan has the resources, tradition, and expectations to get at least 10 wins a year, and now it's got a coach that can make that happen too. The common theme about the Hoke hire was that it wasn't "sexy," which means he's literally not an attractive person and/or that his teams play defense. Neither fact is a valid reason not to like this hire. Hoke wasn't Michigan's first choice, but neither was Jim Tressel at OSU. That's not to say "hiring fifth choice = national championship" is a valid strategy, but it's just extremely unlikely that there's only one right choice at a school with the inherent advantages that Michigan or any other traditional college football power would have. Jim Harbaugh probably would have succeeded at Michigan. So might Hoke. So might a cardboard cutout of Bo Schembechler (which is what the older part of Michigan's fanbase really wants in its heart of hearts anyway).

JERRY KILL, Minnesota

Why him? Aside from the obvious--that his name is literally just "Kill"--Minnesota hired a guy with 200 games of head coaching experience and a 63.5% winning percentage, all before his 50th birthday. Kill has succeeded in the MAC, where success is fleeting at best, and at a Southern Illinois program that wasn't really in good shape when he arrived. The track record's there, in other words. By 2014, Kill will need to: keep the stadium full. Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium is the newest house on the block in the Big Ten, but it's not exactly the biggest -- more like the opposite of that word. The luster of the new stadium was already wearing off by the time Tim Brewster was fired, as the team struggled to fill the stadium or do anything else of merit.  Chances Kill gets what he needs? Well, this depends solely on Kill's recruiting ability. He's been a head coach for almost 20 years, all of which came in the Midwest, so he knows the drill, and he knows the coaches. He just hasn't tried to land any big names before, and while bringing big names to Minnesota seems like a challenge, both Brewster and Glen Mason did it every now and then. So there's a chance he makes a turnaround happen.


Posted on: January 19, 2011 5:29 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2011 5:30 pm
 

Headset Reset: Welcome to the Pac-12 and Big Ten

Posted by Adam Jacobi

"Headset Reset " is the College Football Blog's series reviewing the 22 new head coaches in the FBS and what they'll need to accomplish in their new jobs to succeed. In this edition: the four new head coaches in the Pac-12 and Big Ten.

DAVID SHAW, Stanford

Why him? Shaw represents a reaffirmation of the Jim Harbaugh regime, which rose from doormat to Pac-10 power with Shaw as offensive coordinator. Stanford AD Bob Bowlsby didn't get Boise State head coach Chris Petersen during negotiations after Harbaugh's departure, but Bowlsby's bona fides in football coach hiring are pretty solid. By hiring Shaw (and interviewing two other in-house candidates), Stanford has told its fans, "it ain't broke, and we're not fixin'."  By 2014, Shaw will need to: perpetuate Stanford's recent successes. Harbaugh isn't the first coach to win at Stanford, and he's also not the first coach to bolt for greener pastures at the first opportunity. So being that Stanford's main opposition in the Pac-12 North is Oregon and four programs with a light history of success (and let's ignore Stanford's time in that role since 40 years ago), there's an opportunity for the Cardinal to assert some authority.  Chances Shaw gets what he needs? Pretty good. Stanford's athletic department has a surprising amount of money, and with Oregon and Nike trying to start an arms race with the rest of the Pac-12, Stanford is one of the few schools that can probably keep up -- as long as it still wants to, anyway.

JON EMBREE, Colorado

Why him? Well, let's just not ask Bill McCartney that question. Past that, Embree was hired because he's a former Buffalo, and it would take a Colorado man to take this job and not flee the first time the Buffaloes put together seven wins in a season. By 2014, Embree will need to: get his team competitive with USC -- or whoever else is atop the Pac-12 South. There's no indication that Colorado's better or even as good as the rest of the division it's entering. CU can thank Dan Hawkins in some respects for that, but really, Colorado football hasn't been relevant for almost 15 years (yes, CU went to two consecutive Big XII Championships ... and lost them by a hilarious combined score of 112-6). Continued sub-mediocrity won't fly, especially as the Buffaloes try to acclimate themselves to a new conference without the strong tradition of success the Big XII had. Chances Embree gets what he needs? Not great. Colorado has struggled with keeping its football program relevant ever since the shared title year of 1990, even with some apparently decent head coaching hires. The move from the Big XII North to the Pac-12 South won't help lighten the Buffaloes' burden any, either. Colorado's struggles could very well be an institutional problem, not a coaching problem, and if that's the case it's probably easy to see how the Jon Embree Era will end in Boulder.

KEVIN WILSON, Indiana

Why him? This might actually be the most surprising hire of 2010, mainly because we didn't know Indiana could do something like this. The Hoosiers tabbed the vaunted Oklahoma offensive coordinator for his first head coaching gig, and they briefly had Boise State WR coach Brent Pease as the offensive coordinator. Hello, points! Problem was, Boise State's OC position opened up, and Pease went back to Boise for that gig, as would most sane coaches. This is still Indiana we're talking about. By 2014, Wilson will need to: prove that his offensive genius wasn't just "hand the ball to Adrian Peterson or DeMarco Murray and watch what happens." It likely wasn't, of course; Texas ably demonstrated this year that there's no such thing as a team too talented to get run into the ground by mediocre coaching. But still, the question remains; what's Wilson going to do when week in and week out, his players are inferior to their opponents? Chances Wilson gets what he needs? The better question here is whether Indiana gets what it needs, which is a solid football program led by a solid coach. That seems unlikely. Either Wilson fails badly in Bloomington like pretty much everyone before him, or he actually puts together a winning season, and starts getting wooed by job offers. What's going to keep Wilson in town when that starts happening? He doesn't have any prior connection to Indiana (both the school and the state itself), and his salary is only ("only") $1.2 million. As soon as he wins six games in a season up there, he's getting phone calls.

BRADY HOKE, Michigan

Why him? Michigan went back to its roots by hiring a former assistant, effectively admitting that the Rich Rodriguez dalliance was a mistake (also conveying that message: firing Rich Rodriguez) and that there was a formula to be followed. Hoke has whipped two programs into shape in short order, and he'll need to do it again at Michigan, which is just a mess. By 2014, Hoke will need to: have Michigan reloading instead of rebuilding. Michigan's biggest challengers in its new division are Nebraska and maybe Iowa or Northwestern. Hoke has no excuses for not routinely making the conference championship (or if not, being just a game out). Beating Ohio State would also be strongly recommended. Chances Hoke gets what he needs? Pretty darn good. Michigan has the resources, tradition, and expectations to get at least 10 wins a year, and now it's got a coach that can make that happen too. The common theme about the Hoke hire was that it wasn't "sexy," which means he's literally not an attractive person and/or that his teams play defense. Neither fact is a valid reason not to like this hire. Hoke wasn't Michigan's first choice, but neither was Jim Tressel at OSU. That's not to say "hiring fifth choice = national championship" is a valid strategy, but it's just extremely unlikely that there's only one right choice at a school with the inherent advantages that Michigan or any other traditional college football power would have. Jim Harbaugh probably would have succeeded at Michigan. So might Hoke. So might a cardboard cutout of Bo Schembechler (which is what the older part of Michigan's fanbase really wants in its heart of hearts anyway).

JERRY KILL, Minnesota

Why him? Aside from the obvious--that his name is literally just "Kill"--Minnesota hired a guy with 200 games of head coaching experience and a 63.5% winning percentage, all before his 50th birthday. Kill has succeeded in the MAC, where success is fleeting at best, and at a Southern Illinois program that wasn't really in good shape when he arrived. The track record's there, in other words. By 2014, Kill will need to: keep the stadium full. Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium is the newest house on the block in the Big Ten, but it's not exactly the biggest -- more like the opposite of that word. The luster of the new stadium was already wearing off by the time Tim Brewster was fired, as the team struggled to fill the stadium or do anything else of merit.  Chances Kill gets what he needs? Well, this depends solely on Kill's recruiting ability. He's been a head coach for almost 20 years, all of which came in the Midwest, so he knows the drill, and he knows the coaches. He just hasn't tried to land any big names before, and while bringing big names to Minnesota seems like a challenge, both Brewster and Glen Mason did it every now and then. So there's a chance he makes a turnaround happen.


Posted on: January 3, 2011 3:24 pm
 

Indiana wideout Tandon Doss to declare for draft

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It's not just the Alabamas and Ohio States of the world who have to deal with early departures for the greener grass of the NFL, unfortunately for teams like Indiana, who despite their 5-7 record appear to be losing second-leading receiver Tandon Doss. According to this report from the Indiana student paper, Doss has already informed new Hoosier head coach Kevin Wilson that he will enter the draft and not return for his senior season in Bloomington.

One the one hand, it's a surprise almost by definition for a player with the label "Indiana's second-leading receiver" to be declaring early; Indiana's never been a hotbed of draftable talent, and Doss's statistics -- 63 receptions, 706 yards, 7 touchdowns -- are nice but don't exactly scream "NFL-ready receiving prospect." On top of that, Wilson's Oklahoma offenses were consistently some of the most explosive in the country, and even without departed senior quarterback Ben Chappell, Doss might have found himself riding the updrafts from a suddenly-buzzworthy Hooiser attack next season.

But on the other: without Chappell and with Wilson learning the ropes as a head coach, there's nothing guaranteed for anyone on the Hooiser offense, particularly not a receiver battling the likes of current No. 1 Damarlo Belcher and rising big-play threat Duwyce Wilson for catches. Doss should be able to turn at least a few pro heads, too, as a 6'3", 200-pound target with hands enough to collect 140 receptions the last two years. He may be entirely correct that another year in Bloomington won't do a thing for his draft stock, while it's always possible an injury or crater year for the offense lowers it past the point of being drafted.

Indiana fans won't be happy. But Doss has as many reasons for going as for staying, and it's hard to blame any prospect in that situation from trying to earn a paycheck as quickly as possible.

Posted on: December 7, 2010 2:34 am
 

Indiana set to hire Oklahoma OC Kevin Wilson

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Reports out of Indianapolis and the AP are that by 3:00 p.m. Tuesday (or, unless you're on the west coast, today), Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson will be introduced as the next head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers following his interview earlier today in Bloomington. As mentioned before, Wilson was a protege of Randy Walker and Bob Stoops during 23 of his 25 years as an assistant coach. Thus, Wilson -- the 2008 Broyles Award winner for the nation's top assistant coach -- knows a thing or two about scoring a lot of points from the spread.

It's almost something of a wonder that Wilson chose Indiana for his first college head coaching gig; the Hoosiers have been to precisely one Rose Bowl (a 14-3 defeat at the hands of O.J. Simpson and USC in 1968), and no coach has ever surpassed the .500 mark in Big Ten play during his tenure at Bloomington in Indiana history. Even Nunavut seems less bleak this time of year.

The conventional wisdom, then, is to select a coach with a personal connection to Indiana's program so he'll be less likely to bolt at the first sign of success and an offer from a higher-profile team. To that end, Wilson's only connection to the Hoosiers is the time he spent with future IU coach Terry Hoeppner while both were assistants at Miami University in the mid-'90s.  But even that, the putative "nightmare scenario" of a coach bolting a team trying to build its way back to respectability, doesn't really happen at Indiana at all. The last coach to leave the school for greener pastures was Sam Wyche, who spent all of one 3-8 season with the Hoosiers in 1983 before taking the Cincinnati Bengals ' head coaching spot. Since then, it's been one firing after another with only Hoeppner's death before the 2007 season as the tragic exception to the rule.

Thus, if a coach comes to Indiana and achieves any level of success that would lead a better team to hire him away, that would necessarily be a step up in performance and results at IU. Really, Indiana's at the point where anything more than one eight-win season or two bowl bids before the coach leaves -- for whatever reason -- would be pure gravy. Thus, it makes sense to hire the coach who's most likely to succeed, period, and Kevin Wilson probably fits that bill.

From Wilson's perspective, meanwhile, this job probably looked a lot less attractive two years ago, and what changed in those two years has nothing to do with anything that happened at Indiana or even the Big Ten. The key event here was Gene Chizik going 5-19 during his first tenure as a head coach up at Iowa State (the Indiana of the Big XII, basically), and still not only landing the Auburn job but going 12-0 in his second year with the Tigers. Sure, Chizik had enough history with Auburn that if he'd stayed at Texas as the offensive coordinator for those two years, he might have gotten the job anywy, but he might not have. And really, the lesson here is that good teams aren't automatically considering a lousy record at a lousy program the poison pill that they used to. Nor should they, really.

So really, even if Wilson doesn't exactly get the Hoosiers back in the Rose Bowl hunt before he leaves, the odds are pretty good that this hire will be beneficial to both Indiana and Wilson. Thus, barring major transgressions on Wilson's part (which, considering his mentors through his career, seems awfully unlikely), this should turn out to be a good hire for all involved.

Posted on: December 6, 2010 4:49 pm
 

Indiana to interview OU's Kevin Wilson

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Last week there was a report that Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson had interviewed for the head coaching vacancy at Indiana.  It was a report that Bob Stoops made sure to say was wrong.  Though, before he was done denying the report, Stoops did say that he hoped Wilson would get the chance to interview for the position.

Well, according to a report in the Tulsa World, that's what is about to happen.  A source at Indiana told the paper that Wilson was will interview for the position on Monday night.

If Wilson does end up getting the Indiana job, it would be nice hire for the school. Wilson has been at Oklahoma working for Stoops since 2002 and became the offensive coordinator in 2006 after Chuck Long left for his ill-fated job at San Diego State.  Wilson had been the co-offensive coordinator before that.

Obviously, he's been pretty successful in the postion and he won the Broyles Award in 2008 as the top assistant coach in the country when he ran a very prolific Oklahoma offense that got Sam Bradford a Heisman Trophy in 2008.  This season's offense was fourth in the nation in passing yards with 336.8 yards a game, and ranked 17th with 36.4 points per game.  Of course, there's a slight difference between the talent at Oklahoma and the talent at Indiana.
 
 
 
 
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