Hiller to be hired as new O-line coach

The holes in Indiana’s coaching staff have been filled once again.

Darren Hiller will be named Indiana’s new offensive line coach, a source confirmed to The Herald-Times on Monday. Hiller comes to IU from Houston, where he was hired last month. He spent the 2016 season as offensive line coach, run game coordinator and co-offensive coordinator at South Florida.

In former assistant Greg Frey, who took a similar job at Michigan last month, IU had a nationally recognized offensive line coach who built its line into one of the better units in the Big Ten during his six seasons in Bloomington.

Hiller also brings an impressive resume to Indiana.

His offensive line at USF led the American Athletic Conference and ranked 14th nationally by allowing 15 sacks in 13 games this past fall. South Florida’s 2016 offense ranked fourth nationally in scoring (43.8 points per game), fifth in rushing (285.31 yards per game) and 11th nationally in total offense (511.5 yards per game).

Hiller has previous stops at Cincinnati, Nevada, Arkansas State — where he worked alongside IU coach Tom Allen — and Northwestern State.

Hiller’s hiring comes in the wake of Indiana adding former Michigan quarterbacks Nick Sheridan as its new quarterbacks coach last week.

Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman first reported Hiller’s move to Indiana.

6 comments

  1. Hiller’s hire fills a big hole for IU’s football staff and he seems capable of filling it admirably. He has taken kids from subdivision school and sent them off to the NFL so he gets a lot out of his players. A youtube video from his time at Cincinnati shows he is an active coach who really coaches his players up. Yet the players comments show he is well respected and accepted by the players. The big question will be his recruiting hops as coach Frey brought a lot of Tampa area players to IU.

    I hope coach Hiller’s [he has worked with coach Allen at ASU] hire turns out to be a very good one for coach Allen. Our OL needs to get back to his level before the 2016 season. Last year was a poor year for the OL and 2017 needs to have the OL once again become a strength for the team. IU has a lot of talent on offense that needs the OL and QB position to re-emerge into strengths for the team.

  2. Hiller appears to have been a good hire. And I like the fact that after accepting an offer to coach at Houston in early January, he did not hesitate to leave that job to coach at IU. That signals that Hiller sees the IU job as a major step up in his career and will not immediately begin looking for his next job. Even though he spent a year in Florida, Hiller will probably have deeper recruiting ties to Texas, Arkansas and that mid-south region of the country. No problem with that as far as I’m concerned. But really, he’s been all around the country (Ark, Nevada, Florida), so who knows where he’ll be most effective recruiting.

    Aside from the injuries, last year’s O-line performance would have been very close to as productive as the 2015 unit. The fact that they were not may have had more to do with Lagow and the slightly diminished threat from of our running backs. Redding was a good back, but I don’t think he was as good as Jordon Howard. Regardless, the threat of a lethal passing attack makes it much easier for the O-line to open holes for the running backs, and vice versa.

  3. So, I take it that everyone on this blog is happy and feels great/good about this IU coaching staff!! That everything is in place to make the 2017 football season great. Beside Urbana Meyers, I have never seen a first year head coach excel in the BIG 10. So here’s to hoping that Coach Allen and his staff has a very good/great first year.

  4. IU79, I don’t think anyone is satisfied or feels great about the coaching staff but it is the staff coach Allen feels comfortable with. For fans this is the coaching staff we have so accepting it is the only rational thing to do. Something this staff has is a team that went 6-7, played the “big” teams tough, and has most starters back with a roster that is solid through 2 deep.

    I think coach Allen has the right approach setting the word for 2017 about breaking through against teams they played tough but ended up losing to any way. There were things that needed to improve under coach Wilson and it was questionable if the program would make those changes. Special teams needs to improve but coach Wilson never made it a priority while coach Allen makes it an important part of the team. Scholarship for a punter is an example of that change in perspective. Under Coach Wilson IU has not done well on 3/4th down and short or in the Red Zone. Will this new staff change that, we won’t know until the season is over. Another area that came up short was the use of TEs as receivers especially in short yardage plays and the Red Zone. The new offense emphasizes the use of TEs in the passing game which should take pressure off the WR since defenses need to worry about the TE and should be able to double team the WR. The OL was devastated by injury and using young players. This year will see 3 new starters and we will have to wait and see how the injury situation is this year. We should also see the defense improve once again with all but two starters coming back and by adding a couple of standouts from the 2017 class.

    There is no guarantee the team will be better or worse in 2017. There are reasons to be optimistic due to the # of starters coming back, coach Allen’s infectious attitude changing the players approach to the game, and the attitude of the players this off-season. It is difficult as a fan of IUFB to be optimistic due to the yearly disappointment we deal with every year but just as coach Hep showed IUFB could change I think coach Allen will do the same thing this year.

  5. “A man has got to know his limitations.” And so do Hoosier Football fans. And since when does anyone use the word “great” in conjunction with Indiana football? I’ll settle for good, or average, but I don’t ever expect IU to be great in football.

    Given the financial limitations associated with IU Football, I think Hiller is a good hire. Is he as good as Frey was? I doubt it, but only time will tell. We’re only looking for seven or eight wins a season. More would be wonderful, but it is not realistic given that IU plays in the tougher of the two divisions within the Big Ten. And since it has been done before, it is not unreasonable to expect that it can be done again. Given what he inherited, I’d say Allen has done a great job replacing the assistant coaches that left after the bowl game. On offense, he may have upgraded the coaching staff. And as for defense, Allen performance last year was nothing short of amazing. For the first time since I can remember, last year’s losses were not due to the defense.

    So at this time of the year, there is no reason not to be optimistic. Remember, the Cubs finally won the World Series, so anything is possible.

  6. v-13. Right you are, it’s the only staff we’ve got and we (most of us anyway) as fans of IUFB are optimists if nothing else. So what will be better with the new staff? As v-13 said special teams for sure, KW appears to never have given them a thought. AND some actual decision making inside the other team’s five yd. line (and other critical short yardage snaps). I don’t know how many times we had to suffer through watching the offense bump into itself trying line up for a play, then call a time out, then go back out there and still not figure out how to run the play. Seems like the by the time the offense gets near the red zone the OC should have a pretty good idea of what he’s gonna call when gets near the promised land.

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