Teams & Conferences

Kevin Wilson Fired By Indiana? What Does It All Mean? What's Next?

Kevin Wilson Fired By Indiana? What Does It All Mean?


Indiana is reportedly firing head coach Kevin Wilson? What does it all mean? What’s next? Who might be the right fit?


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Indiana to fire head coach Kevin Wilson

No definitive word quite yet about Kevin Wilson being fired by Indiana – other than it’s being thrown around by insiders that’s it’s the nebulous “off-the-field issue,” and it’s being reported that there might have been a problem with the treatment of players – but in terms of what Wilson did on the field, this is coming from out of left field.

Less than a year ago, Wilson was seen as the future of the program and putting things on the right track, with the school giving him a major contract extension going through 2021 and doubling his salary to around $2.6 million per year.

Long known as a brilliant offensive head coach, this season, Indiana actually played some defense for the first time in a very, very long time, and he got the team to a bowl game in back-to-back seasons.

Considering the problems at Purdue and Notre Dame, Wilson made IU the best Power 5-level team in Indiana this year. But now the program is about to make a major about-face.

Okay, so now what?

Indiana is about to go bowling, but even with the extra 15 practices, it’s going to have to act quickly to not lose 2017 and the recruiting session. For the time being, the first guess is that Defensive Coordinator Tom Allen will take over for now, but the search and speculation will be rolling right away – especially considering Purdue is in the hunt for a new head man, too. Which means …

Does this turn into the P.J. Fleck derby?

There might be plenty of interesting and hot assistants out there, but Indiana isn’t getting a Lane Kiffin. Greg Schiano? The Ohio State defensive coordinator might be just the right fit at just the right time to step in and keep the defensive momentum rolling, but that’s pure speculation.

Both Purdue and Indiana might have issues when it comes to recruiting top talent, but Purdue is a harder place to win consistently without the right systems. Indiana isn’t exactly Oklahoma when it comes to football tradition, but the pieces are there to succeed faster and at a higher level.

However, Purdue has four things going its way in the fight with IU: Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State. Purdue is in the West, while Indiana has to deal with the monsters in the East.

Either way, Fleck – the red-hot Western Michigan head coach – will be the main topic of conversation for the next-step-up job. He’s not going to get an Oregon quite yet, and he might be a rental if he does anything at IU or Purdue, but get ready for the fans to all want the hottest available Group of Five name out there at the moment.

Wilson’s career

A star offensive coordinator at Oklahoma, Wilson came in and completely overhauled the Indiana program, improving in each of the first three seasons before dipping down a game in Year Four. He made up for it with a six-win 2015 season, but losing the Pinstripe Bowl in a heartbreaker to Duke. This year, he got the Hoosiers to 6-6 and back-to-back bowl games for the first time since the 1990-1991 seasons.