The Indiana Hoosiers have promoted defensive coordinator Tom Allen to head coach, replacing Kevin Wilson, who officially resigned from the position Thursday.
Tom Allen didn’t expect to be sitting at a podium Thursday evening for any reason, let alone to be announced as the Indiana Hoosiers’ head coach.
Athletic director Fred Glass promoted Allen from defensive coordinator to head coach to replace Kevin Wilson, who resigned on Thursday under scrutiny from administration over the leadership of the football program.
Glass opened the press conference with apologies to those who tried to contact him throughout the day. Suffice it to say, his unavailability was understandable. Glass met with Wilson at 8:30 a.m. ET, and the two agreed it was in the best interest of the Indiana football program for them to part ways. Wilson submitted his resignation, and Glass accepted it.
Allen has agreed to a six-year contract “at a competitive rate in the Big Ten,” but Glass said the contractual terms have not been finalized. Glass said the two didn’t discuss Allen being the head coach until roughly 10 a.m. ET on Thursday.
“There’s no smoking gun or single participating event that led (to) where we are today,” Glass said. “I think it’s just a realization by myself and Kevin that we really just aren’t on the same page about what I view as key ways the program needs to be led.”
Rumors have circulated that Wilson mistreated players, specifically his rushing of players back from injuries. Glass did not reference allegations of mistreatment as the reason for Wilson’s departure, but there was a clear issue with the coach’s leadership.
“We didn’t have any outstanding claims of medical issues,” Glass said. “I have complete confidence that the medical care has been outstanding by our really terrific athletic training staff.
“I understand that philosophical differences might be an unsatisfying meal full of empty calories, but I think from the institution’s perspective, and from the football team’s perspective and Kevin Wilson’s perspective, our ability to move forward and to have an agreed, mutual separation is highly desirable, and I’m pleased we were able to get that accomplished.”
The move comes as a surprise considering Glass and the university signed Wilson to a six-year contract extension in January. Glass said there were “give and take issues” prior to Wilson signing the extension, but he thought his concerns were in the past when the extension was signed. That obviously wasn’t the case.
“The philosophical differences that recently presented themselves weren’t anything particularly new,” Glass said. “I very much felt we had worked through those when we went into the discussions about an extension. More recently, it came to my attention that those differences in leadership approach were maybe back. (There was a) realization that we weren’t on the same page and lack of confidence by me that we could get to and stay on the same page.”
Wilson finished with a 26-47 record in six seasons with the Hoosiers, including a 6-6 regular-season mark this year. That qualifies Indiana to participate in a bowl game for the second straight year for the first time since 1990-91.
But Glass said Wilson’s tenure “ran its course.” That gives Allen, a 24-year coaching veteran, his first chance to be a collegiate head coach. He’s an Indiana native who earned his master’s degree at the university in 2002. Allen was the defensive coordinator at South Florida before accepting the same position with the Hoosiers prior to this season.
Allen became emotional from the second he started speaking at Thursday’s press conference. He discussed his past growing up in Indiana and cheering for the Hoosiers.
“The IU administration has given me an amazing opportunity,” Allen said. “My heart breaks for (Wilson). I never expected this to happen.”