The Head Coach: Kevin Wilson
Who is this guy anyway?
I am so glad you asked. Kevin Wilson is the head coach of the real Indiana Football team - at least the Hoosiers. He is in Year Three of the Hoosier Experiment, and by all accounts, he is trending in the right direction. From Year 1's disastrous 1-11 mess of a season to Year 2's short run at the Big Ten Championship Game, you would hardly believe it was the same team, except on defense. But we're not really here to talk about defense, at least not yet.
No, Kevin Wilson is what we would call an Offensive Genius, and his journey to his current gig more or less started with another man known around the B1G - Randy Walker. In fact Kevin Wilson coached under Walker in various stops including his time at North Carolina, Miami (OH), and Northwestern for around 19 years, at least that's what Wikipedia tells me. Still, Wilson made waves at his next stop - Oklahoma - where we architected an offense that averaged 51.1 points per game in 2008. That was a year that many Nebraska fans will remember well as the year Oklahoma waxed the Huskers 62-28, and by remember well, I mean I thought it was pretty much the worst thing ever and I am going to continue to pretend it never happened.
That brings us to the present. In his third year, Wilson is looking to make some noise in the Big Ten. Like I alluded to earlier, Wilson brought the Hoosiers to some respectability last year upping the Hoosier wins from 1 to 4. While many of the elitists around these parts might scoff at that record, it proved that the Hoosiers could actually win games, and their offense then proved that it was a force to be reckoned with. Ohio State was fortunate to escape with a win against Indiana, and believe me when I say that this is a team that will be able to put up points. In our Offensive Spring Position Roundups, five Hoosiers made our lists, which isn't necessarily a guarantee for success, but it means they're making an impact. And honestly, the reason any of this can happen is because of the man with the clipboard - Kevin Wilson. Will this be the year the Hoosiers make it back to a bowl? A lot needs to break right, but there is definitely potential for that to happen.
Quote Worth Posting on Your Facebook Wall
"There's a lot of excitement or a lot of potential, which is exciting. But potential is a dirty word if you don't continue to improve."
There really aren't a lot of things to say one direction or another about Kevin Wilson's twitter account... except his love of the abbreviation Gr8 - which is kind of awful. Nonetheless, he has over 15,000 followers and he tweets a lot of information, videos, and pics of Indiana football. He's doing his part in bringing the B1G Coaches into the 21st Century.
Manning the Offense
Kevin Johns & Seth Littrell
Indiana loves them some Co-Coordinators as both the offense and defense shares duties across two heads - because two heads are always better than one, right?
But seriously... Two coordinators is kind of annoying. Nonetheless, it seems to work for Wilson and Company, as they have employed this method all three years he has been Head Coach.
Kevin Johns is the longtimer as he has been here since the beginning of the Kevin Wilson Experiment. He coaches QBs and WRs and can arguably be best described as the go-to coordinator of the offense. Johns' journey to Indiana comes via Northwestern and definitely has had success along the way.
Seth Littrell comes via Arizona and Texas Tech, both well known offensive schools. I would like to say that I could find out a lot about him, but it's all kind of hazy online. He coaches TEs and FBs, so my assumption is that he knows a little bit about run games. With that in mind, I'm guessing Wilson likes to surround himself with Spread Guys who get what he is trying to accomplish and Littrell fits that mold. While this is only his second year on the Indiana staff, it seems like he is helping out a pretty young and talented team.
Do these guys tweet?
Will we see either of these guys being introduced as a head coach someday soon?
I have no idea. They have a better chance than the two guys on the other side of the ball we're about to talk about, but at the same time, Indiana needs wins for either of them to really take the reins at another school. They are both relatively young, so there is no reason to think that either or both could be head coaches - especially at the MAC level - in the future. However, they need some successes and wins in the meantime.
Manning the Defense
Doug Mallory and William Inge
So the elephant in the room is the reality that Indiana's defense is awful. Until this team shows that it can actually stop a team, Indiana will remain as an also-ran. But there is some new blood this season with the addition of William Inge. What that means is the ever-important question of the day.
Doug Mallory has been Kevin Wilson's go-to from the beginning. He is the consumate professional assistant and is something of a legacy at Indiana with his father, Bill Mallory, being Indiana's winningnest coach and all. The thing about Doug so far, however, is that his schemes have not taken hold like one might hope. Indiana did improve on Points Per Game last year, but that was simply a drop from 37 PPG to 35 PPG which are both unacceptable. In the two years he has been in his post as Co-defensive Coordinator, he has led Indiana to last place in defense in the conference. Like I said before, Indiana's defense has been atrocious.
So in comes new Co-defensive Coordinator William Inge. This is kind of an interesting hire by Wilson in that he is bringing a mix of NFL pedigree and Midwest roots. Inge was an Iowa graduate and has been a little bit of everywhere, including the Buffalo Bills under Chan Gailey... before Gailey got axed for generally being terrible. But hey, their defense was ranked 22/32 teams, so that's better than last. I cannot find too much information on Inge specifically, but he seems to have a good attitude and can look a recruit in the eye and say he knows what it takes to make it at the next level. On the other hand, he also needs to prove that he can also tell that recruit that he isn't ruining his career at Indiana on defense. That remains to be seen.