According to various reports, Oklahoma Offensive Coordinator Kevin Wilson is emerging as perhaps the leading candidate to replace Bill Lynch as IU's football coach.
ESPN.com reported that IU Athletics Director Fred Glass met with Wilson Friday, one day before the Sooners' Big 12 Championship game appearance against Nebraska. The website said Wilson is one of three coordinators Glass has met with this week along with Michigan State Offensive Coordinator Don Treadwell and Wisconsin Defensive Coordinator Dave Doeren.
When it comes to dynamic offenses, there aren't many that have been any better than Oklahoma's since Wilson took over as their offensive coordinator in 2002 (he served as co-coordinator from 2002-05, and then took the reins individually in 2006). Led by 2008 Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford, Wilson's 2008 Sooner offense scored 716 points, including an NCAA-record five straight games of 60-plus points during one stretch. Bradford threw for 4,720 yards and 50 touchdowns that season, and Wilson was named the Broyles National Assistant Coach of the Year in '08.
Before joining the Sooner staff, Wilson also enjoyed great success as an offensive coordinator at both Miami (Ohio) and Northwestern under the late Randy Walker. An original member of Walker's Miami staff in 1990 (along with the late Terry Hoeppner), Wilson became the Redhawks' offensive coordinator in 1992, a spot he held through 1998. That 1998 team went 10-1, which led to Walker landing the Northwestern job. Wilson accompanied Walker to Evanston and enjoyed continued success. His three-year stint in the Big Ten included a magical 2000 season when the Wildcats went from worst to first, capturing a share of the 2000 Big Ten championship.
Wilson's run of success has helped make him one of the nation's highest-paid assistant coaches. In the fall, his salary was increased to $430,000 by OU, which ranked fourth among all assistant coaches in the Big 12.
What Makes Him a Viable Candidate: Wilson has enjoyed a long, proven run of success in the MAC, Big 10 and now Big 12 over the last 20 years, and certainly appears ready for the next step as a head coach. While he's been able to utilize an abundance of NFL-caliber talent during his run of success in Norman, he didn't have that same luxury when he was at Miami (Ohio) and Northwestern and he still assembled some dynamic offensive football teams that won conference championships. The Wildcats' spread-option attack in the early 2000s gave opposing teams fits, and was one of the things that paved the way for the abundance of mobile quarterbacks that one sees in college football these days. On top of that, the link to former IU coach Terry Hoeppner can't hurt, as both were on the Miami (Ohio) staff from 1990-98.
What Makes Him a Longshot: It would be hard to say anything makes him a ‘longshot' since he appears to be the frontrunner according to reports. He has been interested in a couple of other jobs in the last year that he didn't get – he reportedly interviewed for the East Carolina job in January, but the job went to Ruffin McNeill. A report also said Wilson was interested in the South Florida job in the off-season, but that job went to Skip Holtz. It's unclear how settled those programs were on their eventual choices going into the process, but Wilson obviously didn't do enough in those two cases to convince decision makers he was their best option.
Hoosier Nation's Take: All indicators are that Wilson is the front-runner to become the Hoosiers' next head football coach. While Wilson wouldn't be able to attract anywhere near the caliber of athlete at IU as he's been able to at Oklahoma, the fact he has more than a decade of experience at doing it with less at both Northwestern and Miami (Ohio) is a plus. That time spent recruiting in the Midwest is also a plus, as the Hoosiers will succeed or failure based on the players it's able to get from Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan. While he wouldn't be able to bring a coaching staff that was largely intact, his 20-plus years as a coordinator should give him a lengthy list of contacts that would allow him to get things together quickly, which is important as IU tries to keep its 2011 recruiting class together.
COACHING SEARCH: Kevin Wilson
Peegs.com Top Stories
Hoosier Newsstand, Oct. 27Get the latest articles on Indiana basketball, football and other sports in today's edition of the Hoosier Newsstand.
Kevin Wilson Radio Show recapKevin Wilson had his weekly radio show tonight and Peegs.com has a recap of what the IU head coach talked about.
Peegs.comYesterday at 4:09 PM
Following the Future: IU commits in actionPeegs.com recaps how each member of the 2017 Indiana recruiting class performed in their most recent game, and what is next on the schedule for every Hoosier commit.
Peegs.comYesterday at 12:33 PM
Video intro: McRoberts not your usual walk-onAs a former Division I scholarship player and younger brother of a long-time NBA veteran, Zach McRoberts may be ready to help more than your typical walk-on
Peegs.comYesterday at 7:29 AM
Video intro: Sophomore walk-on Quentin TaylorIndiana sophomore walk-on Quentin Taylor compares this Indiana team to last year's Big Ten champions and looks ahead to his future after his IU career.
Peegs.comYesterday at 5:42 AM