Urban Meyer may have hit a home run with his hire to fix Ohio State’s beleaguered passing game, but his latest coaching appointment doubles as a controversial selection.
Per Bruce Feldman, and as first reported by our sister site, The Crimson Quarry, former Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson is expected to be Ohio State’s new offensive coordinator. It’s not immediately clear what impact this would have on Ohio State’s current offensive coordinator, Ed Warinner.
Tim Beck, the Buckeyes’ co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2015-16, recently left to join former Ohio State OC Tom Herman’s staff at Texas. Soon thereafter, Ryan Day was announced as the Buckeyes’ new quarterbacks coach.
Meyer will and should get scrutiny for bringing Wilson aboard, given the latter’s abrupt and controversial exit from Indiana. Wilson resigned from his post on Dec. 1, with Hoosiers athletic director Fred Glass failing to elaborate on the sudden news aside from noting “philosophical differences” between Wilson and the athletic department.
In days following Wilson’s ouster, The Indianapolis Star reported that following a complaint by the father of a former Indiana player, the IU athletic department commissioned an external investigation into allegations of player abuse and the possible creation of an “unhealthy environment for injured players” by Wilson and his staff. A second and separate investigation was later conducted in November 2016. Glass would not elaborate on the second inquiry, but did admit it factored into Wilson’s dismissal.
A report from ESPN revealed that several other former Indiana players (or their parents) were unhappy with Wilson’s handling of injured players. It should also be noted that former and current Hoosiers were supportive of Wilson.
Wilson, who went 26-47 (12-37 Big Ten) at Indiana, was awarded with a new six-year contract following the 2015 season after he led the Hoosiers to their first bowl game since 2007.
Prior to his time at IU, Wilson was the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma from 2006-10. Wilson’s rise to coaching stardom was largely tied to the development of quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Landry Jones, and he garnered the Broyles Award (given to the nation’s top assistant coach) in 2008 after the Bradford-led Sooners broke NCAA records for consecutive 60-point games (five) and total points in a season (716). The Sooners lost the 2009 BCS title game to Meyer’s Florida Gators.
Ohio State has had success bringing aboard assistants with controversial pasts, like Greg Schiano, and Wilson’s work at Indiana and Oklahoma suggests he should be able to work wonders with Ohio State’s personnel. But Wilson, and ultimately Meyer, should also clearly speak as to what happened at Indiana, and what protocols are in place to make sure something similar won’t happen at Ohio State.