Allen fills coaching staff for bowl game preparation

Indiana’s football program closed the weekend appearing more complete.

The Hoosiers have a trip booked to the Foster Farms Bowl in Santa Clara, Calif., and they also have each position now filled on Tom Allen’s postseason coaching staff.

After Kevin Wilson’s abrupt departure on Thursday, a hole was created on the offensive side of the staff. Offensive coordinator Kevin Johns will now have more control over IU’s offense, while also focusing positionally on Indiana’s receivers. Quality control assistant Shawn Watson has been promoted to IU’s quarterbacks coach.

Watson has specialized as a quarterbacks coach in the past, and helped tutor Teddy Bridgewater while on Louisville’s staff from 2011 to 2013. Watson has also served as an offensive coordinator for the Cardinals, Texas, Nebraska and Colorado.

“(Those are) the only staff changes we’ve made,” Allen said Sunday. “That allows coach Watson to be on the road recruiting now. He’s allowed to be doing that now. … That’s a very good change. He’s a quality, quality guy to slide into that position. He’ll do an excellent job.”

It remains to be seen whether Watson or any other offensive assistant, in particular, remain on Allen’s staff following the bowl game. At least for now, Allen will also remain as IU’s defensive coordinator — a job the first-time head coach said he wants to devote his full attention toward.

“That is my strength,” Allen said during his introductory press conference. “That is the area that I know and really want to maximize my strengths as the head coach. Obviously I’m going to be leaning on our staff. We have a tremendous defensive staff here at Indiana, and those guys, their role will increase as my responsibilities grow. But I fully expect our defensive group to stay intact and for me to be leading them.”