Eventually Kevin Wilson will name his football coaching staff and the Hoosiers will really begin a new era.
For now, he’s still in the search mode, and priority No. 1 is a defensive coordinator. Why? Wilson has plenty of experience on the offensive end (he’s been the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma, Northwestern and Miami of Ohio), and it’s the defense that will determine how successful he is in Bloomington and whether or not he’ll get an extension on his seven-year, $1.2-million-a-season contract.
“I’m concentrating on the front end with the defensive guys,” he said. “I’ll start with the defensive leadership. Who’s going to direct that?”
Wilson has contacted Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, Nebraska coach Bo Pelini, Arizona coach Mike Stoops and Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops.
“I tried to talk to a number of defensive guys and get thoughts,” he said. “I need someone who will be pretty good there.
“I’ll start with the defensive leaders and give those guys a chance to give their thoughts as we piece that side together. Once we get rolling over there, I’ll flip it back over to the offense.”
Wilson figures to have five defensive coaches and four offense coaches with Wilson as one of the offensive coaches. He doesn’t plan to be the offensive coordinator, but he will give offensive input.
“I would be best served by trying to be a part of our offense, but not necessarily the guy in charge of it,” he said.
Wilson has $2 million to pay for a new staff, and while expertise is important, so is overall staff chemistry.
“We need an environment where guys are good together,” he said. “You don’t want a situation where guys are fragmented. A cohesive core will be stronger working together than as individuals.
“It will be interesting as we put it together to see how the personalities mesh and jell. It will start with guys I’m comfortable with. If I’m comfortable with them, hopefully they’ll blend in. Until you put a group together, you don’t know, but chemistry is always a big part of a team, whether it’s the coaching team or the football team.”
Many members of former coach Bill Lynch’s staff are still on the job. Some might be retained by Wilson, but all that is up in the air.
Tight end Ted Bolser was named to Rivals.com’s Freshman All-America team. Bolser, receiver Duwyce Wilson and kicker Mitch Ewald were named to Rivals.com’s Big Ten All-Freshman Team.
Bolser set a school tight end record and tied for sixth nationally with five touchdown catches. He also set an IU freshman tight end record with 27 catches for 407 yards. He had the most reception yards for a Hoosier tight end since 1991 and the most catches since 1992.
Wilson totaled 32 catches for 488 yards and three touchdowns. His 15.2-yards-per-catch average led the team.
Ewald went 16-for-19 on field goals. That’s tied for the third most field goals in a season in school history with Bill Manolopoulos. He was 33-for-33 on extra points. He had the game-winning field goal in overtime to beat Purdue.