Congratulations to Indiana University and to Athletic Director Fred Glass for finally making a commitment to the football program. The Hoosiers opened up the checkbooks and hired Oklahoma offensive co-ordinator Kevin Wilson for $1.2 million annually. In case you are keeping stats, that's approximately a cool million dollars more than what Bill Lynch was making as a base salary for the Hoosiers. No offense to Lynch, who is the consummate nice guy, but IU got what they paid for while he was here.
Wilson received a seven-year deal and Glass commented that "It seemed to me we had to give him substantial time. I want him to have time to do things right."
Now, Glass has dipped into the Big Dog's water bowl and came up what might be a home run type hire from one of the nation's most powerful programs. Wilson's credentials as a coordinator can't be argued as he directed a Sooner's offense in 2008 that torched opponents on the talents of Sam Bradford. He's also coached Adrian Peterson as well. Being able to go into potential Hoosier recruits' living rooms and make those sort of statements can't be underestimated. While Lynch did coach a handful of NFL players while at IU, James Hardy and Roger Saffold aren't exactly the household names of Bradford and Peterson.
Of course some may argue that offense hasn't been IU's problem the last few years, it's been defense. So now the question becomes who fills out Wilson's staff with the Hoosiers. Glass has already said that money is no object and that Wilson will be given the resources he needs to hire a quality staff. Plenty of eyes will be on Wilson from the beginning to see who he hires for his defensive coordinator.
If Wilson can't improve the Hoosiers' defense, he could suffer the same fate that Lynch did in his short tenure at IU.
The Hoosiers haven't finished the season ranked any higher than 71st nationally in yards allowed per game over the last decade. That was in 2007 when IU gave up 403 yards per game. They have finished 107th (2008 -- 432 ypg), 88th (2009 -- 401 ypg) and 89th (2010 -- 410 ypg) in recent years.
At least Wilson knows that it takes great defense to have big time success.
"I'm an offensive guy, but nine years going against coach [Bob] Stoops every day [in practice], you learn how to play great defense," Wilson said. "We're going to play some great defense here.
"I'm going to take some time because I do have time and I need to get it right," Wilson said. "I need to get the right guy. It's a huge hire. We're going to get someone good."
One of the interesting factors in Wilson's hiring is that he's been a full-time recruiter in the talented hotbeds of Texas and the Southwest. Will he be able to maintain that connection while staying involved with Indiana high schools? That remains a question though he addressed that during his press conference and said that he has to have a strong presence in the state (Indiana). He also sad that he will also look into Florida and Texas as recruiting grounds and that "We're not going to make a living" on JUCO players.
Wilson and his family were introduced at a press conference at 4 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon. The 49-year old Wilson has been an assistant at Oklahoma since 2002 and the offensive coordinator since 2006. He won the Frank Broyles Award as the top assistant coach in the nation after Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Sam Bradford, led an offense that scored 60 points in an NCAA-record five straight games. The Sooners also tallied a record 716 points that season and reached the BCS National Championship Game that season before losing to Florida.
Wilson also has Big Ten ties as he was the offensive coordinator at Northwestern under coach Randy Walker and helped lead the Wildcats to the Big Ten championship in 2000. Prior to that he was with Walker at Miami (Ohio) from 1990-1998 where former Indiana coach Terry Hoeppner was also part of the staff.