OU Adjusts to Mangino Departure

Kevin Wilson, assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Northwestern, has been named the offensive line coach and run game coordinator at Oklahoma. OU head coach Bob Stoops made the announcement Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, Stoops removed the interim tag from Chuck Long's promotion to offensive coordinator and made the move permanent. Long has been on the OU staff as quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator since 1999.

With regard to Long's promotion, Stoops said, "I have a lot of confidence in Chuck's ability to lead us in a way that will keep us in contention for championships. His work here has been very effective and we look forward to his contributions in this new role."

Wilson, who fills a void created when Mark Mangino left OU to become the head coach at Kansas, will join the Sooners Thursday and will be on staff for the Cotton Bowl game.

Stoops and Wilson have not coached together before, but the OU mentor said his appreciation for Northwestern's offensive success and several strong references made Wilson an obvious choice.

"Kevin brings a great deal of experience to our program and in particular to the offense," Stoops said. "A lot of people recognize the success he's had at Miami (Ohio) and Northwestern with Randy Walker, especially with a strong running attack. That style will mesh well with what we want to do here. We'll see how quickly we can implement some things and maybe we'll even have a new twist or two for the bowl game."

Northwestern averaged 442.9 yards this season and has been the Big Ten Conference's total offense leader in each of the last two seasons. The team was third in the nation in total offense last season and 15th in 2001. Also over that 23-game span, the Wildcats averaged 33.1 points per game.

"I've had a great career at Northwestern and my time with Randy Walker has been tremendous," Wilson said," but this is an opportunity to leave a program in good health and go to one of the most recognized programs in college football. Coach Stoops is considered one of the top young coaches in the country and that also was very attractive to me. I look forward to learning the Oklahoma system and contributing to its success.

"I think and hope that my strengths can be an advantage. I feel that I have some strengths in running the ball that could be beneficial."

Much of the recent Northwestern success was highlighted by the rushing of Damien Anderson. He finished as the sixth-leading ground gainer in Big Ten history, despite missing the last three games of this season with an injury. In 2001, Anderson averaged 94.6 rushing yards per game.

Wildcat quarterback Zak Kustok finished No. 1 in the Big Ten and No. 9 nationally with 297.5 yards per game this season.

But Wilson's Northwestern offense threw the ball effectively as well and this season, Northwestern had three receivers with more than 40 receptions each.

"I'm not sure you have to be balanced in play calling, but you have to be balanced in effectiveness," said Wilson, whose 2001 Northwestern offense averaged 185.8 yards on the ground and 257.1 through the air.

The 2000 season was a highlight at Northwestern. The Wildcats were Big Ten co-champions with an 8-4 mark and made an appearance in the Alamo Bowl.

That team set 25 school records and Wilson was named a finalist for the Frank Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant. The Wildcat offense was among the nation's top 10 in total offense, rushing offense and scoring offense.

Wilson began his coaching career as a student assistant at his alma mater, North Carolina, in 1984. He then moved up to graduate assistant for two seasons. In 1987, he became offensive line coach at Winston Salem State before moving to North Carolina A&T as offensive coordinator in 1988. In 1989, he was head coach and athletics director at Fuard (NC) High School . He moved to Miami (Ohio) as the offensive line coach in 1990 and was promoted to offensive coordinator in 1992. In 1998, he moved from the line to the quarterbacks.

Under Wilson's direction, Miami enjoyed the three best seasons in school history for total offense.

Wilson carried the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach titles to Northwestern in 1999. He added the title of assistant head coach prior to the 2001 season.

Wilson hopes that his experience will be of service to Long.

"Sometimes, an offensive line coach can look at the game only through the eyes of an offensive lineman," Wilson said. "I've sat in Chuck's chair as a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator and I hope that experience will help build a strong working relationship."

Wilson earned two letters as an offensive lineman at North Carolina from 1980-83. During his four seasons in Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels were 37-11 with four bowl appearances.

The new OU assistant holds a bachelor's degree in education from North Carolina. He completed his masters degree in physical education at UNC in 1987.

Wilson, 39, and his wife, Angela, have three daughters, Elaina, Makenzie and Marlee, and one son, Trey.

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