DeBoer a nominee for the Broyles Award

Indiana offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer has been nominated for the Broyles Award, given to college football’s top assistant.

IU paid out its richest ever contract for a football assistant this offseason to bring DeBoer in from Fresno State. As has been the case at previous stops, the South Dakota native, a three-time NAIA champion as a head coach at Sioux Falls, has produced results.

DeBoer’s offense has made significant gains in national rankings in several statistical categories from the 2018 Hoosiers, including time of possession (plus-87), average yards per pass (plus-87), red zone touchdowns (plus-71), 20-yard passing plays (plus-68), points per game (plus-54), 20-yard scrimmage plays (plus-50), red zone scoring (plus-46) and total touchdowns (plus-45).

Despite uncertainty at quarterback and the loss of senior Coy Cronk at left tackle, IU ranks first in the Big Ten in pass offense (15th nationally), and second in total offense (34th), sacks allowed (26th), completion percentage (8th), first downs (20th) and time of possession (7th). The Hoosiers also rank third in pass yards per attempt (20th) and pass efficiency (18th).

IU has scored 30-plus points in eight of its nine games, including six straight, which ties a program record. This year’s team is one 30-point game short of tying the 2015 squad with nine overall.

DeBoer’s offense utilizes many of the same spread concepts as other football programs, but how his scheme has Peyton Ramsey spreading the ball around is unique. Mike Leach’s Washington State program is the only other with five or more pass catchers with 20 or more receptions and 350-plus yards.

Getting tight ends and running backs involved in the passing game has been a big part of that formula. In 2018, tight ends caught 21 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns, and those numbers have increased to 38 catches, 454 yards, and five touchdowns in nine games. Running backs have 38 receptions for 315 yards with two scores, an increase from last season’s 227 yards on 45 targets.

DeBoer is one of 41 nominees for the award, and this is IU’s third nominee since 2016. That year, then-defensive coordinator Tom Allen was put up for the honor. Running backs coach Mike Hart was nominated in 2018.

The initial Broyles list will be reduced to 15 semifinalists and then five finalists. The winner will be announced Dec. 10.


  1. Coaching matters. Leadership matters. So I think this recognition is well deserved, and I’m happy for DeBoer. But let’s not kid ourselves, what makes this possible is having really good quarterbacks.

  2. The best IU Offensive Coordinator that I can remember. He consistently finds ways to get the team to 30 points or more. I hope he doesn’t win the Broyles Award because I hope IU can keep him 1 more year in Bloomington. Enjoy his play-calling while we can because he’s either going to be an OC at a playoff-contending school or a head coach very, very soon.

  3. He has more to do with 7-2 than anyone else with the program. As QB Coach he has gotten the very most out of PR. Great ‘head hunting’ by Coach Allen. Like Beamer did with Foster, AD Glass and Coach Allen have to plan a way to keep KD on board.

  4. I hope IU can hang on to coach DeBoer for years and keep helping develop IU into a B1G champion. He has really improved the IU offense with both QBs. I hope he has installed special plays for PSU they haven’t seen yet. I also hope he worked with Ramsey to read quicker and get rid of the ball quicker which Penix did. Coach has worked with Ramsey about staying in the pocket much better and not bail out so quick so I expect Ramsey will read quicker and get the ball out faster.

    The PSU game would be fun if our defense has improved over the two weeks and keep creating more take-aways.

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