COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer Tuesday named Kevin Wilson the Buckeyes’ new offensive coordinator. The former Indiana head coach, who has 16 years of coordinator experience, has directed some of the most innovative and prolific offenses in the nation over his 25-year coaching career.
Wilson will coach Ohio State tight ends in addition to being offensive coordinator. Meyer also announced today that Ryan Day would be co-offensive coordinator along with coaching the quarterbacks, and that Bill Davis will coach linebackers.
Wilson spent six seasons as Indiana coach and led them to consecutive bowl games in 2015 and 2016 for the first time since the 1990 and 1991 seasons. His teams were physical, and highly competitive against Ohio State – games decided by three, seven and 14 points twice – behind a productive passing attack that led the Big Ten Conference three times, in 2012, 2013 and 2015, while finishing second this year.
An offensive coordinator to the late Randy Walker for seven years at Miami (1992-98) and then for three years at Northwestern (1999-2001), Wilson and Walker led the RedHawks to a 59-36-5 record before devising a power-spread offense at Northwestern that carried the Wildcats to a Big Ten Conference co-championship in 2000. Highlights of that season included Northwestern leading the Big Ten in rushing for the first time in 54 years.
Wilson then coached under Bob Stoops for nine years at Oklahoma, serving as co-offensive coordinator from 2002-05 and offensive coordinator from 2006-10. During this time the Sooners won six Big 12 championships, played in three national championship games (2003, ’04 and ’08) and Wilson’s offenses “evolved into a beast,” according to published reports and featured a then-NCAA record 716 points scored in 2008 that still ranks No. 2 in FBS history.
Following the 2010 season, Wilson was named Indiana’s head coach. His tenure was not only a terrific offensive era for IU, but it also featured an average of 21 academic all-Big Ten players each year and was the second-longest tenure for an IU coach in the last 20 years, or since Bill Mallory’s 13-year run between 1984 and 1996.
Student-athletes, particularly running backs and quarterbacks, thrived under Wilson and the accomplishments of many of them are listed throughout the NCAA records pages and various conference media guides. Of note:
– Miami Redhawk Travis Prentice rushed for 3,937 yards and 56 touchdowns in three seasons under Wilson, and he closed his career sixth in NCAA rushing history;
– Northwestern’s Zak Kustok had 532 yards of offense in a 2001 game – still the seventh-most yards in Big Ten history – when Wilson was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach;
– Two of Wilson’s running backs – Northwestern’s Damien Anderson and Indiana’s Tevin Coleman – accumulated 2,000 rushing yards in a season with Coleman’s 2,036 in 2014 16th in NCAA history and Anderson’s 2,063 in 2000 not ranked by the NCAA because of bowl game yards but fifth in Big Ten history;
– Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson just missed a 2,000-yard season under Wilson in 2004 with 1,925 yards;
– Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford is the NCAA’s career-leader in passing efficiency (min. 500 completions);
– Bradford and Oklahoma’s Landry Jones each passed for over 4,700 yards in a season to rank 21st and 23rd, respectively, in NCAA history;
– Wilson’s 2008 Sooner offense set an NCAA record by scoring 60 points in five consecutive games;
– Indiana quarterbacks Nate Sudfeld, in 2015, and Richard Lagow this year, have the top two single season passing yardage totals in IU history, with Sudfeld’s 3,573 yards 10th in Big Ten history; and
– The 2015 IU offense became just the fourth in FBS history – and second for Wilson – with a 3,500-yard passer, two 1,000-yard rushers and a 1,000-yard receiver in the same year (USC in 2005; Oklahoma in 2008 and Southern Mississippi in 2015).
Wilson, a winner of the Frank Broyles Award in 2008 as the nation’s top assistant coach and twice a finalist, coached four first-round draft picks at Oklahoma – Bradford, Peterson, Trent Williams and Jermaine Gresham – and 23 of his Hoosiers moved on to the NFL.
A native of Maiden, N.C., Wilson is a 1984 graduate of the University of North Carolina, where he was an offensive lineman on the football team and received his bachelor’s (education; 1987) and master’s (physical education) degrees. His coaching career began in 1987 at Winston Salem State and includes stops at North Carolina A&T (1988) and Foard (N.C.) High School prior to his tenure at Miami.
Wilson, and his wife, Angela, are the parents of five children: daughters Elaina, Makenzie and Marlee, and sons Trey and Toby.