Kevin Wilson won’t have to wait long for his return to Memorial Stadium.
Ohio State officially announced Tuesday that Wilson has been hired as the Buckeyes’ offensive coordinator and tight ends coach. Wilson abruptly resigned as Indiana’s head coach on Dec. 1 due to what IU athletic director Fred Glass characterized as “philosophical differences.”
Wilson’s first game in his new role will come against the Hoosiers on Aug. 31 in Bloomington. SB Nation’s Crimson Quarry first reported Wilson’s move to Columbus last week.
Wilson and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer share a friendship that dates to Wilson’s time as offensive coordinator at Northwestern and Meyer’s time as Bowling Green coach. Those programs faced each other in 2001 before Wilson’s Oklahoma offense met Meyer’s Florida program in the 2009 BCS National Championship Game.
“Offensively, that guy’s a heck of a coach,” Meyer said of Wilson in 2012. “He was at Northwestern back in the Randy Walker era. He was one of the originators of this uptempo. We actually coached against him when I was at Bowling Green in ’01. They had Zach (Kustok), remember that whole crew? Tremendous. He was on the cutting edge.
“Then he went to Oklahoma and we coached against him there, and they were tremendous with (Sam) Bradford and that whole group. … I’ve always loved his coaching.”
Wilson compiled a 26-47 record across six seasons at Indiana, coaching the team to back-to-back six win seasons in 2015 and 2016. Prior to his IU tenure, Wilson won the 2008 Frank Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach.
Although he oversaw several record-setting offensive seasons during his 25-year coaching career, Wilson heads to Columbus carrying off-the-field baggage following several reports of player mistreatment during his time at IU.
He was the subject of two external investigations while at Indiana, leaving his post on Dec. after having agreed to a severance package of $542,000 paid out over the course of the next year. That amount will not be mitigated by his new salary at Ohio State.
Meyer had been displeased with Ohio State’s passing game in 2016, with the Buckeyes finishing sixth in the Big Ten with 213.9 passing yards per game. Ohio State lost to Clemson, 31-0, in last month’s College Football Playoff Semifinal.