Wommack hired as IU’s 10th assistant

Tom Allen tapped into his coaching past to hire his latest assistant.

IU announced Monday that Kane Wommack will join the Hoosiers’ staff as a linebackers coach after a new NCAA rule went into effect this week, creating an extra on-field coaching position for teams across the country.

Wommack spent the past two seasons as South Alabama’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. William Inge, who has served the past five seasons as IU’s linebackers coach, will become the team’s special teams coordinator.

Allen previously worked with Wommack at Ole Miss, where the 30-year-old served as a graduate assistant in 2012 and 2013 when Allen was linebackers coach under defensive coordinator Dave Wommack, Kane’s father.

“Kane is one of the bright, young coaches in our profession,” Allen said in a statement. “He has done a tremendous job as a defensive coordinator at two different stops. I have a strong relationship with his family, but more importantly, he is an excellent football coach. Kane is the kind of person that I want in our program mentoring our young men and that will represent Indiana University in an excellent way. He is a guy that I know and trust, and I am very excited to have him join the IU Football family.”

During Wommack’s stint at South Alabma, the Jaguars were the 13th-most improved scoring defense (minus-10.8) and rushing defense (minus-69.2) rushing defense in the country. Wommack also has experience as a defensive coordinator at Eastern Illinois and helped coach the hybrid safety position at Ole Miss.

At Indiana, Wommack will have his work cut out for him.

The Hoosiers graduated their three top tacklers at the position in former All-American Tegray Scales, Chris Covington and Dameon Willis. There are no proven impact players at linebacker, though IU is trusting in the upside of players such as Reakwon Jones, Mo Burnam, Kiante Walton and Thomas Allen, among others.

“Tom Allen has been an awesome mentor,” Wommack said in a statement. “We have risen through the ranks together as defensive coordinators and I am thrilled to be reunited with him once again. I am ready to get started and excited to be a Hoosier.”

The NCAA approved the measure to increase the size of coaching staffs from nine to 10 on-field assistants in April. That’s allowed Allen and his colleagues around the nation months to prepare for and weigh exactly what they wished to bring to their programs.

“You had some time to kind of talk,” Allen said last month. “I talked to a lot of coaches about their philosophy. What do you think you want to do with that position? What do you think is best? This is what I ended on, kind of summary for me. I want to find the best football coach that fits with us and will allow us to be the best recruiting and the best developmental staff in the country.

“So that’s what I decided to do, not try and say, hey, I’ve got to have this position or this guy. Let’s find the best person, the best coach out there that fits with us and our philosophy and is going to help us become the highest effective recruiting staff and developmental staff in the country.”

Inge began his coaching career as a co-defensive coordinator and special teams coordinator at Northern Iowa. In the past, IU has taken a staff approach to special teams.

“Special teams play is a huge priority in our program. We needed someone to take ownership of all of our special teams units and Coach Inge is the man for the job,” Allen said. “It’s a great opportunity for him to become a coordinator and oversee an area that I believe changes the game.”

13 comments

  1. Is it fair to assume that Inge just got promoted? As I read this, “Coordinator” seems to be a higher level than position coach.

    Wommack is an indication that IU will continue to recruit heavily within SEC territory, but he also has experience in the Midwest (Eastern IL, Northern Iowa). Fine by me.

  2. Interesting hire. Pretty solid resume for such a young guy.

    I like the other change, too. I think our linebackers were a damn site better than our special teams.

    Hope springs eternal.

  3. D and ST’s staff moves make me feel positive. I feel considerably less so for the offensive staff. But maybe. Been over half a century since an IUFB season looms as large as 2018 does and HC Tom Allen without a doubt knows it. Win at least 1 you’re not spose to. GO HOOSIERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Comments thus far are well taken and very astute. Kane Wommack’s father Dave had some great defenses during his career. Normally very highly rated nationally and produced some major talent. Safe to say the younger Wommack comes from great coaching stock and should be well schooled in what it takes to build great defenses.

    Think this is a great move by TA on many levels. Everyone needs to be patient, takes time to build a winning program. Especially building one which has been so bad for so long, but it starts with assembling a quality coaching staff.

  5. think, anyone that still cares enough about IU Football to read an article about a new position coach this time of year knows all about being patient.

    1. Po,

      You got that one right, but like the old days of baseball at spring time training camps, hope springs eternal.

  6. Just read that two Arizona players, both with significant experience, are transferring from AZ, and one 4-star commit for their 2019 recruiting class has re-opened his recruitment. Trevor Wood, a 6’5″ redshirt Junior Tight End and Marcus Griffin, a 6′ 3″ 305 lbs. Defensive Tackle are the first two players to announce their transfers from AZ. I believe two of the three will be immediately eligible to play next fall because they are graduate transfers. There will be more, if not in this week, then after the hiring of the new head coach has been announced. Anybody know how the process works for recruiting graduate transfers? I know a school has to wait until the player has announced he intends to transfer, but after that, I believe it is open season. Do they need to obtain a release from their former school?

  7. Sorry, I meant to write, I believe both players will be eligible to play next fall. Obviously, Casey Kline, the 4-star recruit for the class of 2019 will not be eligible.

  8. I really like the changes that have happened in IUFB this off-season. Moving Inge to special teams coordinator is a good way to improve the ST even more. Maybe we will see more blocked kicks as one coach can focus on how teams blocking and find the weak area to attack. A new coach for LB makes sense with new players needing to step up in the position. Our strength coaching has now got two that are using scientific ways to improve speed and strength. Add in the recruits that are being brought in for 2018 and things seem to be looking up.

  9. PO, you know us!
    Very glad to see a dedicated special teams coach, but every other program is getting an extra coaching spot , too, so now everyone will have one. But the IUs will benefit more than the OSUs and the NDs.

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