DeBord to become IU’s new offensive coordinator

Tom Allen is asking a fellow native Hoosier to oversee his offense at Indiana.

Tennessee offensive coordinator Mike DeBord will leave Knoxville to take the same position at IU, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to The Herald-Times on Tuesday. DeBord’s hiring comes one day after Allen parted ways with former coordinator Kevin Johns and tight ends coach James Patton.

DeBord, who grew up in Muncie and attended Manchester College, was hired at Tennessee in 2015. At previous stops, DeBord has emphasized the running game, which is an area Allen has stressed as an area of importance since taking control of the program last month.

The Volunteers’ offense averaged 36.4 points per game this season, and in 2015 DeBord oversaw a rushing attack that amassed 2,908 yards led by a big season by star running back Jalen Hurd.

DeBord has also appeared as a man who’s willing to run what is required. While serving as offensive coordinator at Michigan from 1997 to 1999, DeBord engineered a pro-style attack. While at Tennessee the past two seasons, he guided a spread approach.

While Tennessee and Michigan, where he also served in the same role during the 2006 and 2007 seasons, are DeBord’s most high-profile college jobs, he also has NFL experience. The 60-year-old coached tight ends for the Chicago Bears from 2010 to 2012. He was also on the Seattle Seahawks staff in 2008 and 2009, working with the offensive line and tight ends.

Much of DeBord’s past has been spent focusing on the offensive line, though he also coached quarterbacks during his two seasons at Tennessee. He also has head coaching experience at Central Michigan, where he went 12-34 leading the program from 2000 to 2003.

DeBord attended Wes-Del High School, where he was a four-year letterwinner as an offensive lineman and linebacker. Playing along the offensive line at Manchester, DeBord earned All-American honorable mention recognition in 1977. A year later he served as a graduate assistant at Ball State during the Cardinals’ Mid-American Conference championship season.

At the same time, DeBord’s brother, Eric, was emerging as a key player on Indiana’s football team. Eric was a starting defensive end on IU’s 1979 Holiday Bowl team. Both DeBord brothers are members of the Indiana Football Hall of Fame.

Mike DeBord coached South Decatur High School for three seasons before becoming an assistant at Franklin College during the 1982 and 1983 seasons. DeBord also served as an assistant at Fort Hays State (1984-86), Eastern Illinois (1987-1988), Ball State (1989) and Colorado State (1990-1991).

DeBord also served as a sport administrator at Michigan from 2013 to 2015. During previous stops in Ann Arbor, DeBord was in charge of the Wolverines’ offense during their national championship season in 1997. His work there saw him mentor quarterbacks Brian Griese, Tom Brady and Chad Henne.


  1. According to the information presented in this article, it appears as if Allen has upgraded the Offensive Coordinator position. Experience as a head coach, check. NFL coaching experience, check. Experience with major winning college programs, check. Recent experience (recruiting and coaching) in the SEC, check. A Hoosier native; well that’s just a bonus!

    Welcome to Bloomington, Coach DeBord.

  2. Da Hyper and excessively jubilant Allen…meets DeBor[e]d. I like it.
    Unfortunately, I don’t recall much “offense” from the Bears in the years 2010-12. Then again, it’s been a revolving door of coaches in Chicago and DeBored is likely not to blame for two additional years of the Da Boring results and play-calling of Da Bears.

  3. That’s funny, Chet. Maybe defending the short shorts wins OG’s shapely gams…?

  4. I bought my wife a diamond ankle bracelet….I guess you could say I’m a gam bling man.

    Sorry for that….

  5. This looks like a solid hire. Tenn had a decent season and scoring points was not a problem for them.

    More importantly, I like that Allen has shunned that whole “Co-” route. He’s a big proponent of ownership and it starts at the top.

    Speaking of which, this hiring shows how far IU Football has come along (Thanks KW). Our new coach just got a proven OC Coordinator from a top SEC school to defect. Kevin Johns was a WR coach at Northwestern with Rod Smith being a QB coach at Michigan when they were hired in 2011.

  6. BTW, Grant Heard hasn’t been hired yet, right? He’s just rumored to be heading to Indiana?

  7. Good hire for IU. Will be 61 years old. A few good years left. Do offensive recruits receive an older OC coach over a younger OC coach. I still like the hire.

  8. You people do alot off topic rambling about things that have absolutely nothin to do with the subject at hand.smh

  9. Debord is a fantastic hire for Allen. I live in Knoxville and the local sports talk MC and a former player both spoke extremely highly of Debord this afternoon and were sorry that he was leaving. The UT offense set an all time record for points scored this year and we couldn’t ask for an OC with better credentials than Debord. Apparently he had told Butch Jones earlier in the year that he was going to retire to be closer to family as he has grandkids and other family in Indiana. When the Indiana opening was offered to him, he decided to jump at it as he could continue coaching and still be close to family. This is a home run for Allen. If Grant Heard comes on board and if Greg Frey and our running backs coach stays, we will have an awesome offensive staff to go along with our great defensive staff. I believe Debord and Allen will be able to get us a top notch QB recruit for 2018.

  10. Coach Allen is putting his stamp on the staff and 2017 will show how well it works. I think he has made a good choice at OC and hope coach Heard is officially added to the staff soon. Imagine being a QB recruit and knowing you would be coached by the guy that had Tom Brady to coach and lately Jalen Hurd.

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