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.