IU co-offensive coordinator Rod Smith leaves for Arizona

Indiana co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Rod Smith has left the program to join Rich Rodriquez’s staff at Arizona. Smith played under Rodriguez at Glenville (W.Va.) State and also coached under him at Clemson, West Virginia and Michigan. Smith spent a year with Kevin Wilson’s staff after Rodriguez was fired at Michigan and the Rodriguez was working in television.

Smith will have the same position at Arizona that he held at Indiana.

Wilson’s statement about Smith’s departure follows.

“We appreciate Rod’s efforts with us this season,” Wilson said. “We’re sorry to see him leave and wish him and his family the very best. Rod has a long-standing relationship with Coach Rodriguez and we understand his decision.

“As we move forward, we’ll take our time to find the fit for our coaching staff that will keep our program headed in a positive direction.”


  1. I know you’re doing your job, but every time I’ve seen a non-hoops related post this week, I’ve thought to myself: Seriously, does anyone even care right now?

  2. Can’t say I’m surprised. But I wish him the best. Can’t really say I am a fan of RichRod but such is life. May his post be filled with someone of great…patience and understanding.

  3. I was hoping for more live up-to-minute updates from “Occupy Assembly” and “Camp Crean.” Our anal university has to take the fun out of everything. Like the kids were going to freeze to death…Give me a break.

    What the hell else can Dusitn post? It’s just wait and see time as we count the hours until the NBA team comes to town on Saturday. Can we play with the Lexington Lakers? You can almost cut the tension with a knife. I hope Jordy puts on his Converse Chuck Taylor’s for this one. It’s time to go old school on these circus freak athletes.

  4. This is hard to gauge as either a severe blow to a struggling program or as a great opportunity for a struggling program. Coach Smith was not here at IU long enough for me to wish him anything-well or ill. It does not look like Smith had done much recruiting for QB, FB and RB for 2012. I hope he does not “snake” any of our recruits. I hope AZ does nothing good in football for many years. Coach Wilson needs to take a risk with some young gun with drive, creativity and passion but limited experience or status (who might feel some loyalty). He also needs to have AD Glass put some “teeth” in the assistant coaches contracts with large “buy-out” clauses. In one short year this makes 4 (?) assistants who left Wilson in the lurch. Wilson needs to get “pi–ed off” and demand some loyalty from his staff!

  5. Jeff and Jimmie I agree with both of you. I want to know about IU football (and all other sports) year round! Beat Purdue: Someone needs to light a fire under Wilson. I am tired of hearing B Up. Where is our fight?

  6. While I want Indiana Football to come back, I can’t say I am surprised. At least he tasted some sucess with RR. Like one post said, he wasn’t here long enough to see a difference, so his depature for me personally isn’t a shock.

  7. This joker said when Rich Rod was hired that he would not be leaving and had not had contact with old RR. I mean I do not blame him with his background to want to be with RR. But why say he was not leaving when he knew he would if the call came. College coaches have no honesty or morals.

    It is gonna be hard to rebuild at IU with coaches leaving. Heck the first OC left before he started. Maybe Wilson should have tried to not go nationwide with his coaches and instead find midwest guys who would stay.

  8. Someone mentioned contracts above, I’m pretty sure assistant contracts are year to year. Works both ways, of course, as the school doesn’t have to pay a buyout if it decides to part ways. And Wilson hires his own assistants. Glass just approves them.
    Wilson was an assistant for a long time, of course, and I don’t think even he would approve of multi-year deals and buyouts. For all of them, the goal is to eventually be a head coach. He knows what it took to get a head coaching job — he even had to leave Randy Walker eventually — so he’s not begrudging anyone the same opportunity.

  9. I care about football as well and am looking forward to seeing if Wilson can get things headed in the right direction. The comment was merely my initial thought due to thinking about this upcoming basketball game all week and really being relieved the embarrassment that was this football season is over. That, and I have no idea if it’s a big deal to lose this guy or not.

  10. I’m fine with Wisco’s point. I mean, clearly, we’re more focused on IU-Kentucky this week, but I had some football stuff I had to finish up, and this isn’t a humongous story, but it’s one we need to cover. Remember, of course, that whatever is on the top of the Scoop isn’t necessarily the biggest story, it’s just the most recent.

  11. Let’s not forget that most of us saw the unflinching loyalty that BL showed his ineffective coaching staff as a fatal flaw. I’d like to see long term assistants, too, if they are really good.

  12. All of our commenting doesn’t change a damn thing. Coaches go..coaches come. Sports journalists blabber..We blabber…What does it change? It’s like politics…Every election it all gets amped up..Things are gonna change…Criticism for the previous guy…blah..blah..blah Nothing really changes. Today Donald Trump blabbers about how rich he is on CNN..Do I give crap? And then he turns around and says Obama shouldn’t get the credit for killing bin Laden. Sports is no different. All people do is piss on the previous guy. Next guy can’t get it done in light speed, then he’s the next flush down the toilet. There are really so few genuine people left in this world of big mouthed fakes. If you’re a real deal, then they hate you because you’re not promising all the tea in China overnight. We turn good men into propaganda machines. It’s what our ears want.

    I’m not crying in any bucket for Wilson. They’re all cut from the same mold. They put their religious blabber on Twitter pages, paint their slogans on highway billboards, and we pay them grotesque amounts of money to itch their cracks. They come in knowing very well they’re making promises to the moon that they can’t keep. Nothing is going to change overnight for IU football. Just like it hasn’t changed in this country and the backward spiral it’s has been in for decades because the greedy rich believe people in boardrooms only have worth. Money doesn’t fix a damn thing. Show me a someone with balls that hands their millions back when they don’t do what’s promised.

    Calipari does nothing for the good name of basketball. Show me an ESPN reporter that has the balls to risk his job and say such truths on national TV. A world of frauds..a world of talkers and billionaires that buy their time in front of cameras and force us to listen to their empty blabber.

    Now go make fun of some young people that our occupying the streets and trying to wake up a nation of zombies. Call them losers because they see the world of deception for what it is…

  13. And I hope you didn’t take my comment as critical or complaining, I know you have a job to do, and you guys all do a great job and I, in sincerity, do want football news. Just a lil-hoop obsessed this week!

  14. My guess is that Smith sees this as “going home.” He played for Rich Rod, he’s coached for Rich Rod, so he’s going back to his comfort mentor. He’s moving to better weather, probably getting a little more money, and he’ll be with a team that is not a total reclamation project. Can’t say I blame him.

    I’m sure Wilson can find a suitable replacement, but he needs to stabilize his staff. Whether its the money, or the location, or his management style, he needs to stop the undesired turnover. Most really good college FB programs have the money to keep good assistant coaches in place for a long time. Obviously IU can not compete with those payrolls. But Arizona is no great FB program. There will always be turnover as young talent pursues head coaching jobs, but Wilson should not be losing good coaches every year to lateral moves. That kind of turnover is very “expensive.”.

  15. Kind of a weird job category. You work your first year or so for free, then a couple years part time. After that, every job move you make is in the paper and your ‘loyalty’ is judged by the totally unbiased eye of the sports fan. Not for the thin of skin.

  16. Any word from Coach Wilson on how he plans to fill the position? Will Johns take over as the sole OC, or does Coach Wilson plan keeping the co-offensive coordinator positions? Also, did you guys get a feel for how well (or poorly) having co-coordinators worked this season?

  17. Maybe (probably) the co-coordinators title was necessary to get the coaches he wanted. Things could be hashing out just fine. Time will tell.

  18. I’ care quite a bit and expect the football writers/columnists to continue their coverage. I’d be upset if the HT began to ignore football coverage. They already carry basketball long into summer. I’d also like to see other sports get more coverage in this column (i.e. soccer, track, baseball, swimming…)

  19. Forward opportunity or comfort in established relationships is always what these guys are looking for and why not. Physical moves are part of there life. Charlie Weis made $865k yr. as the OC at Florida, today he is the coach at KU. Arizona’s checkbook has $2M for RR’s staff, Wilson’s is/was $1.8M. Finding a quality replacement for RS’s job will not be difficult, there are dozens well qualified and wanting. Urban Meyer just found his new OC for the Bucks at Iowa State. I am actually excited about having a new OC. Rod Smith was OK but I was not enamored about his affiliation with RR. I agree with BeatPurdue, I would like for Coach Wilson to hire a cerebral firepisser with the energy of Ekeler. Wonder what he would look like?

  20. Dustin you miss the point. You don’t want multi-year contracts with buy-outs for every assistant. Just for the two coordinator positions and the assistant head coach (if there is one). Three years, let’s assume a salary of $400,000, if they leave in months 0-24 the buy-out is $600,000, months 25-36 $300,000, The head coach has the option of waiving the buy-out. All of the recent IU assistants who left made lateral moves NOT upward moves to a head coaching job. What Smith is saying is that “Rodriquez” is better brand in the coaching world than is “Wilson”. If you hire a coordinator, it needs to be a 3 year commitment. Your entire offense or defense will be stamped by his scheme and approach, so a longer term commitment is what you need. Of course no one will stand in the way of a move from assistant to head coach. But lateral moves with only marginal pay bumps, brand your program as a “loser”. Not a good image for a brand new head coach!

  21. I have been stewing all season about the debacle that was/is IU football circa 2011. None of his staff did anything to endear me to them or make me believe that they cannot be replaced by someone equally as incompetent.

    All the months leading up to the start of this past season I kept reading and hearing about how Wilson and his staff know what it takes because they’ve all been around successful programs. From my point of view it doesn’t look like much of knowing what it takes rubbed off on them because they sure made a great many coaching mistakes.

    Adios Smith, and hope you enjoy the Arizona heat. IU was certainly no better with you so I can’t see them being any worse without you.

  22. PLEASE KEEP UP THE FOOTBALL COVERAGE!!! I’m sure that there will be a lot of interesting tidbits in the coming months.

  23. Davis, all others interested in reading more on football (even if it is 24 hours before we play a basketball game against Kentucky), more analysis of Kevin Wilson and the development of his ‘system’ and his vision of where it fits (tactically and strategically) his approach to the Big Ten. One of the links provided in The Scoop is to a blog ‘Smart Football’ that is particularly analytical, insightful, thoughtful and very well written.

    I was particularly impressed by two stories that made references (and credited) Coach Wilson’s football intellect, the development and evolution of his offense over the years, and his connections/influence to various other coaches including the late Randy Walker (of Northwestern), Bob Stoops, Rich Rodriguez and others and the gradual adaptation/transformation (and Wilson’s role) of the wide open passing game to Big Ten style offenses. It was not only really interesting reading, but very helpful in trying to ‘see’ KW’s vision for IU football.

  24. Kevin Wilson is a train wreck. Can’t keep coordinators, can’t keep players, can’t keep recruits, can’t win, can’t stay sober in public….

  25. IU Kool Aid- So what’s the evidence for Wilson being a drunk? This accusation has popped up before and ought to be substantiated before it appears again.

    Also, the hire of Beckman at Illinois adds to our metric for evaluating the Wilson hire. Illinois is following the Minn./Jerry Kill scheme by hiring a successful non-automatic BCS conf. head coach, as opposed to the IU scheme of hiring an assistant with no head coaching experience from a BCS contender (with the variable being that Beckman, age 46, won for three years at Toledo compared to a longer run of success by Kill at No. Ill. and So. Ill.).

  26. One or two assistants leaving is not an issue…normal in this business. A wholesale abandonment by the coaching staff would be troublesome, but that does not appear to be happening.

    As for the allegations around KW non sobriety in public, I seriously doubt there is any merit to these comments. First, I strongly suspect that Mr. Glass had Coach Wilson fully vetted prior to making him an offer and something like public intoxication would have certainly surfaced. Second, I absolutely believe that if such an incident were to emerge here at IU, the University would swiftly send Coach on his way without ceremony.

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