Indiana defensive coordinator Doug Mallory, defensive ends coach Jon Fabris fired

After Indiana finished last in the Big Ten for the third straight season in both scoring and total defense, Indiana defensive coordinator Doug Mallory and defensive ends coach Jon Fabris were fired Friday according to an IU release.

“Doug and Jon are solid coaches and good men,” Wilson said. “We appreciate everything they have done for IU Football and wish them both the very best moving forward. We are excited about the future as we continue to build our program in a positive way.”

Wilson declined further comment through a spokesman. More to come.


  1. Thank you Skip for yet again proving your ignorance. Several weeks ago you wrote an article comparing Tom Brady to Jordan based on this season, and said he should be league MVP. This article basically says that Andrew Luck is Alex Smith with a gun-slinger mentality, and he’s destined to be average. Let’s examine your argument with facts:

    Tom Brady 380-628 60.5 Comp % 4,343 yds 6.92 YPA 25 TD 11 INT 87.3 Rating

    Andrew Luck 343-570 60.2 Comp% 3,822 yds 6.71 YPA 23 TD 9 INT 87.0 Rating

    So Luck sucks, and Brady is Jordan and the MVP? Those numbers seem kind of… I don’t know, identical? And the Pats have far more talent on defense, and better coaching according to you? So wouldn’t that make Luck’s season vastly superior to Brady’s? I know it’s tough to take when logic, reason, and more importantly actual facts tear down your argument that’s built on bias and personal opinion… sorry.

    Luck’s receivers not named TY… Da-Rick Rodgers, Darius Heyward-Bey (demoted to special teams for poor play) Griff Whalen, Jack Doyle, LaVonn Brazill, Wesley Saunders…

    Skip, you are an idiot, I know that you know that, but this is about as dumb as you’ve ever been.



  2. Praise be to Tijan it finally happened! I will divert back to a list I enjoyed from earlier in the year. Here’s my rough list of candidates: Fordam DC David Blackwell, Memphis DC Barry Odom, WKU DC Nick Holt, UC DC Art Kaufman. Fantasyland names: Ron Zook, Manny Diaz, Tom Bradley, Leslie Frasier, Greg Schiano, Jim Schwartz.

  3. Coach Kevin Wilson is a man of his word. This action is just one of many he’s taken to improve IU football. This news has brightened my day.

    16guards, it will be interesting as to who he brings in as replacements. I am sure that his choices will show improvement in IU’ defense right away. I don’t expect a lockdown defense by the new coaches; but, any improvement will be like a ray of sunshine.

    I am disappointed to see Doug Mallory let go for he seems to be a good man like his father.

  4. Jeremy Price

    Do you have any thoughts on why Skip Bayless’s Son’s comments showed up on this blog post.

  5. Davis Blackwell for sure should receive consideration. I wonder if new assistant coach James Patton will get a bigger responsibility from all this? They will have to fill the safeties coach slot.

  6. I would expect Ron English recently released at EMU to get an interview. He was a DC at L’ville and Meatchicken before HC job at Ypsilanti. He has extensive experience coaching DB’s.

  7. I don’t expect Patton to be coming back. I saw something where he interviewed for the OL job at Wake Forest. He didn’t get it, but I’m sure he’s interviewing for other positions. I never expected him to hang around for more than a year anyway. It seems like his hiring was done more as a favor to a friend than anything else.

  8. The day has finally arrived! There is hope, Hoosier fans! I expect a significant jump by the defense next year…regardless of who the new coaches will be. I’m sure all of the candidates will know the fundamentals of tackling, so that will be a vast improvement.

    All sarcasm aside, I’m very anxious to see who gets the job and see the improvement in all aspects next year.

  9. Is there a separate dictionary for posts to this site: Meatchicken” as a football playing college somewhere?? Another fantasy name, Spielman, the former OSU and NFL LB, who does commentary on ESPN. He knows defense!! How about the former FL Headcoach recently fired? TX has had no defense since he left. Is there a major league HS Coach, like Warren Central, with defensive skills and 3-4, right now, recruits, available? It should be interesting!

  10. Ron English? Didn’t he just get fired for abusing players or something? My pipe dream is Randy Shannon. I wanted Wilson to hire him from the first day. He has Florida ties, ran a clean program at UM, and fits Wilson’s selling point with recruits of coaches who have won a national championship. Pay him the money!

  11. PB, I thought the same thing till the events this AM. He may now have a different perspective to play a bigger role.

    BeatPurdue, I’ve used the name Meatchicken on here many times in referencing the team in Ann Arbor. I am scratching my head as to who was the recently fired HC at Fl.

  12. A head defensive coach needs eleven quality players plus many of nearly the same talent level to serve as replacements to field a competitive unit.

    A basketball coach needs five and two or three solid bench players. One or two true offensive standouts can put an entire team on their backs given minor scoring contributions from the rest and strong team play/communication/defensive tenacity.

    Strange how obvious incompetence(whether coaching or player skill development) outrages many fans in a football system far more difficult to repair(especially where a football defense has more demands because of the style of fast pace an offense that doesn’t favor staying on the field very long).

    Keep in mind that Valparaiso and Ball St. made it to the round of Sweet 16. Butler made back-to-back championship games. One very intelligent coach with a real understanding of the game and a solid short roster with a couple high level talents can be an incredible equalizer in the game basketball. If you’re fortunate enough to have a greater talent pool, how much competence does it really take in a five-on-five game to make some noise?

    Puzzling how we seem to have it all backwards. We demand the faster rise in competence in a system with so many more variables and pieces to fix in order to sustain competitiveness in a very strong conference. Can on imagine a “Movement” in top football talent that comes to Bloomington based on the commitment of one recruit?

    Basketball incompetence seems so easy to fix at an institution with such strong heritage in hoops and such unbelievable fans. Maybe that’s why we ignore the easy fix to incompetence and demand fixing overnight the things that realistically take a decade to get back up to speed from the decades of neglect.

  13. Then again, football has a pretty low bar. If your team gets to any one of the dozens of irrelevant bowl games, the wolves suddenly turn back to sheep and the fans grow once again content at Memorial.

    There’s only one bar in basketball. There isn’t 25 NCAA basketball tournaments. You can’t play like crap and still get an invitation to a Basketball Bowl to play only patsy at the end of a year of .500 play. This is where I sorta give Crean a break. College football(in terms of what it takes to keep most fans happy at a historically weak football school)is really sort of a joke compared to how critically we evaluate basketball in its singular system and narrow perspectives of defining competence and improvement.

  14. Also keep in mind that Wilson and Mallory are working within the backdrop of a basketball program that is falling short of expectations and hasn’t sniffed Final Fours for eons. When Knight was going deep every five years, who really cared to hold football to a level of high returns on low investment?

  15. Maybe none of that made much sense. Oh well, I tried.

    I guess it sorta begs the following questions…

    Why shorter contracts and short term expectations for a football system that has so many more individual components(far more talent positions to fill even if considering just considering one side of the ball) and wider array of influencing variables(multiple layers of coaching and player development dimensions) that can hamper overall improvement?

    Why long coaching contracts for a basketball system where changes are so much easier to infuse with 1/10 the numbers demands on acquiring talent pools compared to football?

    Why would we think long term digressions and talent disparities spanning 25 years can be fixed overnight by changing a defensive coordinator? Contrast that against a basketball program at a storied hoops institution in a basketball talent-rich state? Why do we think basketball needs contract stability through long term head coaching contracts when incompetence and brief downturns in talent(even after abrupt regime changes) would seem such the less monumental task?

  16. If you took the five best basketball players from our 60+ deep football roster, could they provide Crean with stronger bench reserves than Howard, Jurkin, Etherington, and Marlin? Would a couple football guys even give Perea some strong competition? Wonder if Cody Latimer was good a hoops…?

  17. HC- your (Freudian) slip is showing; it’s David (not Davis) Blackwell.

    Happy for the program that Mallory is gone, but sad for the man. It can be a life-wrenching event to lose a job and I wish him well in his next gig.

    H4H- good questions in post 16 re: length of coaching contracts in FB cf. BB. Is there any analytical comparison out there about the term of years for FB vis a vis BB coaches’ contracts? I don’t follow BB too much so I don’t know the term of Crean’s contract, nor that of other BB coaches.

  18. HC- Never mind Beat Purdue. I’ve gotten some mileage out of “Meatchicken” in a few conversations. It plays out “quizzical look” followed by explanation = guffaws (or at least smirks). Where do I send the royalty checks for using your copyrighted material?

  19. This needed to be done. I’m sure both are great men, but as I have said over and over, the teachings and schemes wasn’t connecting with the kids for some reason. Like it or not, sports is a bottom line business. You can only be so patient, until things begin to look hapless. As many have said, if Wilson didn’t pull the trigger, he would truly own this atrocious defense.

    Who knows, maybe the defense will continue to regress, and Mallory lands a job, and turns it around. Who knows about Mallory, but got to believe the defense will improve. The only way it can be worse is if we use paper cut outs of our players to play defense!

    Dustin or Price: You think Inge has a chance to be promoted, and think its possible they do away with the “co” title?

  20. Bittersweet. I wanted Mallory to succeed, but it was becoming increasingly apparent he just wasn’t up to the task. At least not here. Sad to see an Indiana man have to go, but sometimes these decisions have to be made. Best of luck to them.

    A cautionary tale: The Dallas Cowboys fired DC Rob Ryan last year after most people blamed an underperforming, average-to-below-average defense (well, and Romo’s Ill-timed fourth qtr meltdowns) for not making the playoffs. Cowpoke Nation wanted heads to roll, and they got what they thought they wanted. New Orleans– who last year was statistically the worst defense in the history of the NFL– picked Ryan up and the Saints promptly improved to the top half of the league in most statistical categories this year. The Cowboys, meanwhile, slipped into a historically bad defensive abyss. Turns out it wasn’t the coach after all. At least not the one that got e axe.

    I know we’re not comparing apples to apples here. A below-average defense for Indiana would be a huge upgrade. We couldn’t get much worse. But I guess I’m saying be careful what you wish for. Or in this case, what you cheer for. In a perfect world, we find a new DC that turns the defense around and keeps us competitive for years to come, while Mallory lands on his feet and gets a shot to succeed elsewhere. He may not have been the best coach, but he’s a good man and he’s IU family. I hope most of us can agree he could probably use a little less grave-trampling and a little more well-wishing. And that the football gods don’t smite us further for reveling in another’s misfortune.

    (And with that, I’ll jump off my soapbox. The view is great from this moral high-ground… but it’s awfully hard to breathe…)

  21. CW had no choice but to fire DM. If IU’s Defense was even 20% better than the previous year, then they certainly would have been bowl bound. Mallory may be a good man, but he was paid to coach football / build a markedly improved D-unit – he failed, as simple as that.

    I don’t think any of the Defensive recruits will de-commit. After all, most are coming to IU to get a top education, improve as football players, and WIN football games (and, yes, even go to a Bowl game or 2)!

  22. Ben,
    As I said before, “co” was just a title. From everything I could tell, Mallory was the guy. Wilson has made it clear in the past that he gives some coaches titles so they can use them on their resumes and get a little more money. That’s a trick he’s not tried to hide. Inge had input, but basically, OC’s and DC’s don’t work on the sidelines. Littrell and Mallory are in the press box. Johns and Inge are on the field. Littrell and Mallory were made available at press conferences every week. If Inge had equal billing, he would’ve probably at least have been at the press conference every other week as Ekeler had been the previous two seasons. I’d say Inge probably maintains the co-DC role but they’re going to get a guy to really run the defense. Inge strikes me as a good coach, but I think they want someone to run the defense on his own here. They’re going to go as big as they can go here because they have to.

  23. Sorry, FL did not fire Will Muschamp after his 5-7, no bowl season, even though all of my Gator friends assured me that he was “toast”. I don’t follow FL. I misspoke.

  24. Harvard, IU definitely “sniffed” a Final Four last season. Syracuse beat us and went to the Final Four. MI played in the title game, a team that Indiana beat twice, home and away, during the regular season.

  25. Agreed, Higgi. The only problem I have with the firing itself is that I’m sad it had to happen. I wanted him– well, all of them– to succeed. Especially Mallory, since his father got a such a raw deal. But I understand it had to be done. The only thing I disagree with is some of the fan jubilation we see here and in other forums. I think that kind of iniquitous reaction should be reserved for the rotten people– cheats, abusive tyrants, and a-holes in general. Mallory, to me, was none of those. He was just a man who didn’t perform (or get his players to perform) like we hoped and needed him to.

    Excellent posts, by the way, Harv. I don’t think there’s as big a gap in contracts as you’ve premised, though. Big and/or long contracts are primarily reserved for extensions or bringing in proven winners, be it football, basketball, or women’s lacrosse. If there’s a bigger gap than I realize between football and hoops contracts, I’d guess the discrepancy has to do with the amount of potential profit loss and the size the replacement coaches pool. The financial stakes are bigger, and there are position coaches, HCs/DCs from smaller schools, and former castaways looking for redemption around every corner. Football coaches, I suppose, would be on a shorter leash. Just a guess.

  26. BeatPurdue, Muschamp was no doubt close to the line. After I posted my Q to you I thought maybe you were referencing Randy Shannon fired from Miami. Here are a few more names being buzzed about the IU fan base, Willie Martinez DB coach for the Vols, Barry Odom DC/Safeties coach for Memphis and Todd Orlando DC/Safeties coach for Utah State. I think the hire requires a present or recent DC with positive DC results and not an assistant moving up. Who knows, I never saw Littrell on the horizon. Willie Martinez does have OU ties to Coach Wilson.

  27. Good managers and good coaches make tough decisions. This was not an easy decision for Coach Wilson since Doug Mallory and Jon Fabris are quality people. It also wasn’t an easy decision for Coach Wilson either in view of his relationship with Coach Bill Mallory and BM’s support for him and the IU program. But he did it. And it was the right thing to do.

    I understand Coach Bill Mallory’s hurt in the light of the impact this decision now has on his son, Doug, and family. It’s never pleasant to see this happen with your children. Besides, it means too he will no doubt be separated from his son and family and their children in Bloomington. Few parents enjoy being distanced from their children and grandchildren. Unfortunately, while the defense has been improving, it has not been developing at the rate necessary for Coach Wilson to resurrect the program even to the level Coach Bill Mallory brought it before BM had one bad season and was terminated too.

    So while the decision was not easy for CW, I hope we realize such decision is always more difficult and harder on those who are fired, like Doug Mallory and Jon Fabris, than the one who does the firing. With that in mind, I thank both Doug and Jon, two high quality individuals, for their contribution to IU’s program, I wish both the very best in finding coaching positions at a quality university with a quality program. And I hope you do too.

  28. cp2002- English was fired last fall as HC at Eastern Mich. for a recorded locker room “rant” which included tons of profanity and a homosexual slur. He might have survived had EMU been 8-1 instead of 1-8 at the time. He was DC of the year (by at Meatchicken* in 2006 but got the ax when Rodriguez was hired. (Still laughing at that one.) Don’t think this should = pariah status, but he’s likely to get more lucrative offers than IU can pay.

    *Copyright 2013 Hoosier Clarion. Used with permission (I hope). All rights reserved.

  29. Being a good and fine man of character is not enough to justify keeping one’s job. That’s just the minimum requirement in this case. You also have to be competent and able to deliver results, especially in a hyper-competitive business like college football. Mallory is a good man, but he needed to be fired. It was so obvious to anyone who watched IU play football. God that defense was terrible this past season!

    My only question is why did it take Wilson so long? Was this a matter of allowing the contract to expire and avoiding a financial penalty? Why wait until mid January before firing him? Why not do so a day or two after the Purdue game? Seriously, wouldn’t that have given you more time to recruit the most qualified candidates? Wouldn’t that have been better for recruiting? Why waste six weeks when it was obvious Malory needed to go?

    As for Mallory’s replacement, this decision will determine Wilson’s future at IU and as a head coach. Pick the right guy, go to a bowl game, get a big raise and contract extension, or maybe even get hired away to a bigger football program. Pick the wrong man, continue losing, get fired by IU, and probably never be a head coach again. Yep, its a very important decision.

    I take it by Glass’s comments, IU is willing to pay above the $300,000 annual salary Mallory was getting to secure the man they want. One could live very well making between $300K and $400K a year in Bloomington, IN! And really, there’s no where for the defense to go but up. Sounds like a great opportunity to me!

  30. PO- in response to the questions in paragraph 2 of post 36, I think the AD and HC get the benefit of the doubt simply because there are so many variables we know nothing about. I’ve asked the same questions to myself, believe you me. You are right about the importance of the hire, and I hope you are right about the willingness of the AD to spend the $$$.

  31. I see the time frame of the terminations as creating the optimum opportunity for IU. 1st continuity was kept in place during the recent recruiting period and the scheduled official visits to campus. There are now no bowl preparations nor the bowl games for target candidates to focusing on. This week is the national coaches convention in Indy. Near every candidate looking to move up or move on is in the backyard of Wilson and Glass. Also is good timing for DM and JF to hook up with a future job. Yup, nothing wrong with the timing.

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