Kevin Wilson has just gotten done leading the Indiana Hoosiers football program to back-to-back bowl game appearances. His reward? Apparently getting fired.
The Indianapolis Star is reporting that Wilson is out at IU, with a news conference scheduled for 6pm ET to announce the move. Few details have emerged outside of the report that he is gone.
It certainly is an interesting move for a program that has reached back-to-back bowl games for the first time since making the Peach Bowl in 1990 and the Copper Bowl in 1991.
Wilson also signed a 6-year contract extension back in January of this year, earning $2.55 million and nearly doubling his salary from his previous deal.
So, how does a coach who gets the team to this level of production and earned a huge contract extension get fired just days after the regular season finished up? It appears off-field issues that include treatment of players and clashes with the administration have driven this decision according to SB Nation.
Former Indiana player told ESPN on Thursday that he & at least 5 other IU players interviewed about Wilson's treatment of players
— Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) December 1, 2016
Whatever the reasoning, it has to be serious to axe a head coach who has overseen arguably the greatest sustained success since the late Bill Mallory gave the university six bowl game appearances in eight years from 1986 to 1993.
Before and after Mallory, winning seasons were a struggle and it was that way for Wilson early on. His overall record of 26-47 in six years on the job isn’t stellar, but that includes a brutal 1-11 start to his tenure and he had improved to 12-13 (including the bowl loss last season) over the last two years.
If reports are true, this decision likely has nothing to do with performance on the field and everything to do with what happens behind closed doors. It is likely that Indiana’s hand was forced in this situation, and it brings open an intriguing job.
The Hoosiers have made a huge commitment to the football program in the past three years, including upping the salary pool along with facility upgrades. Someone with a good profile may find this job interesting, if they want to go up against a brutal Big Ten East schedule on a yearly basis though.