Indiana makes DeBoer’s hiring official

Indiana officially announced Kalen DeBoer’s hiring as offensive coordinator on Monday, adding the tag of associate head coach to his duties in Bloomington.

DeBoer comes to Indiana from Fresno State, where he helped transform the Bulldogs’ offense from one of the worst in Division I to a top-50 unit during his two seasons in the Mountain West Conference.

At IU, he’ll be tasked with similarly fixing an offense that stagnated and lacked explosive plays during Tom Allen’s first two years as head coach.

“Kalen DeBoer is a proven winner,” Allen said in a statement. “He has had great success as a head coach and coordinator at every stop and every level throughout his career. Kalen is an exceptional leader of young men and an experienced play-caller who has taken the offenses he has inherited to new heights. Thanks to the incredible support of Fred Glass and our administration we welcome him, Nicole and their daughters, Alexis and Avery, to the IU family.”

DeBoer will make $800,000 per season in base salary at Indiana, a source confirmed to The Herald-Times. That salary would have ranked him among the eight highest-paid assistants in the Big Ten this past season, according to the USA Today college football salary database.

Per the USA Today database, DeBoer made 333,048 in base salary in 2018.

Before DeBoer arrived at Fresno State, the Bulldogs ranked 120th nationally in total offense. During DeBoer’s two seasons, Fresno State jumped 73 spots to No. 47 nationally this past season.

The 2018 season was a banner campaign for the Bulldogs, who posted a school-record 12 victories, including a Mountain West Championship game victory over No. 19 Boise State and a Las Vegas Bowl win over Arizona State. Fresno State, which finished the season at No. 18 in the Associated Press poll, ranked 26th nationally in scoring offense (34.6 points per game) and 29th in passing offense (267 yards per game).

DeBoer orchestrated a similar turnaround during his three seasons at Eastern Michigan, where the Eagles ranked 124th in total offense after his first season before jumping to No. 35 nationally in his final campaign in 2016.

Eastern Michigan’s 2016 offense topped the program’s previous total offense record by more than 900 yards and set school records for points scored (385), passing yards (3,849), touchdown passes (25), first downs (303), completions (309) and total plays (999).

DeBoer also spent four seasons as offensive coordinator at Southern Illinois and posted a 67-3 record and won three NAIA national championships during his five years at the University of Sioux Falls.

“I am honored for the opportunity to join Coach Allen and his staff,” DeBoer said. “They are great coaches and master teachers who are passionate about making Indiana football special. I can’t wait to get to campus, meet the team and help take this program to the next level.”

67 comments

  1. This looks in all aspects like a tremendous hire. Can’t wait to see this offense in action! I only hope the offensive line can protect whatever quarterback is in place? My biggest complaint over the last 2 years has been the inept play calling of the previous coordinated. Every game I was throwing pillows at the TV screen. Everything I read about this incoming guy looks positive! Go Hoosiers!

  2. What a great day to be a Hoosier fan! Let’s finish the recruiting cycle strong and head into camp with morale at an all-time high!

    1. Both posts reflect my feelings of the big picture. I have 1 question I’m sure others share that hasn’t been announced. What position is KD going to coach or are there more staff changes on the horizon. Don’t have a preference just curiosity that’ll be answered before Spring camp.

  3. I like this hire and will be interested to see how the offense looks this coming season. Watching last year’s games the offense looks a lot like IU’s the past two years other than executing better. DeBoer has been successful at different levels of football so I have hope he will adjust well to B1G football.

  4. At about this point PO is supposed to start the gloom and doom that even if DeBoer makes a big hit with the IUO, Fred Glass will never pay enough money to keep him from being poached.

  5. Well that’s probably a safe assumption. When has FG/IU matched an offer to keep a successful coach? Seth Littrell? Grey Frey? Deland McCullough? All gone. But at least they actually hired someone with a proven track record instead of the usual strategy of buy the cheapest talent and hope.

    1. Seth Littrell was on the hunt. I strongly suspect Coach Allen was not to intent on keeping DM or Frey. $ very well did not ripple the decisions.

    1. I dug into it but really couldn’t see any of the remaining Fresno St. targets making sense. Maybe one WR. Fresno St hasn’t exactly been setting the recruiting world on fire the last few years. However, they have been winning football games.

  6. 800,000 salary,,,,,somebody getting fired……better play the best players, and call the right plays…………………………..Some of these players are not close to being drafted in the NFL are Starers . WHY ? Seems like the Coaches need to step it up.

  7. 123 Well, what Fred is paying Deboer is in the top ten of B1G assistants. I really believe Frey and Littrell thought they were better than IU. And the other went to USC. It’s not always money. Usually, but not always.

  8. I’m heartened by the thought the $800k base being paid KD was offered to secure his favor over some other suitors. Don’t know who they were but no way IU was the only D1 reading his resume intently.

  9. Astonishingly, I agree with HC’s most recent comment. I too am delighted that IU has chosen to pay DeBoer the amount necessary to secure his services. Even though it is a departure from Fred’s well established tendency/policy (over the last 11 years), it’s a sign that Fred finally wants to play with the big boys. I applaud Fred Glass for making this possible, but wonder why now? What has changed since he allowed previous and highly talented assistant coaches to depart IU’s staff? And by the way, what we just did to Fresno State is exactly what was done to IU by Michigan, University of NC, USC, and Texas A&M in previous years when they poached our best assistant coaches by offering to pay them A LOT MORE MONEY. It is naive to suggest that securing much higher compensation was not one of the key factors in motivating Frey, Littrell, McCullough and others to leave IU. It was probably not the only reason, but it was one of the key reasons. Frey left IU for a salary exceeding $700,000 at Michigan, almost double what Iu was paying him at the time. When you increase your earnings and increase your exposure by coaching a contender that plays on a much bigger stage, the decision to change jobs is a no-brainer.

    1. Why now? Probably because he has been following your comments and finally realized he needs to up his game.

    2. “When you increase your earnings and increase your exposure by coaching a contender that plays on a much bigger stage, the decision to change jobs is a no-brainer.” Indeed. IUFB’s problem is that even if it seriously increases the earnings, it still can’t satisfy the “contender” and “much bigger stage” parts of the equation.

  10. How interesting it was to read the following statements in this article:

    “Kalen DeBoer is a proven winner,” Allen said… Wow, what a novel concept for IU! Hire a proven winner. And I agree, DeBoer is a “proven winner.” It is impossible to disagree with that assessment. But it is also a departure from what has been the norm at IU for the last ten years.

    “Thanks to the incredible support of Fred Glass and our administration….” That’s true too. For IU to pay any assistant football coach $800,000 per year, or making him one of the highest paid assistants in the Big Ten is “incredible” and unprecedented! So I join T.A. in applauding Fred Glass for finding the money necessary to hire a proven winner and providing that relatively incredible level of support. Even though it’s the first time Fred Glass has ever done such a thing, it’s welcomed and better late than never.

    I hope DeBoer’s daughters are young, otherwise they’re probably not going to be too excited about the difference in the weather between Fresno, CA and Bloomington this time of year. No doubt they will get a new wardrobe and soon come to appreciate that Dad has upgraded the quality of the community they live in. Not to be too harsh, but compared to Fresno, Bloomington is paradise.

  11. There’s probably a reason they put ‘no’ at the end of ‘Fresno.’

    Reno…? Sounds a lot like renal…Reno failure? Renal failure?

    San Diego….Get the hint?

    Chicago….

    Las Vegas… It’s a gas!

    Durango…West, young man! that one was for Chet)

    Buffalo….The temps, dude. Very lo.

  12. Coach Allen and IU have upgraded IUFB with changing the S&C coaches and bringing in DeBoer. These two examples show Glass understands paying more for coaches and I think it will improve pay for our coaches in the future year when contracts come up.

    Whether the efforts are successful improving the recruits, bringing in the S&C coaches, and now with the new OC it is clear Coach Allen is working on winning more games. People need to be patient as it may be until 2020 before we see a major change but like Coach Allen I hope the young players improve enough for 2019 to help IU have a winning season.

  13. I don’t have to be patient and I won’t be. I’ve been patient for most of the last 52 year. I was patient with Fred Glass for nine of the last 11 years. Not going to patient any longer. “Good things come to those who wait, but only the things left behind by those who hustle.”

    However, the hire of DeBoer allows for a small amount of optimism to creep back into my thinking. I feel like I did when Wilson announced he had hired Tom Allen. I don’t expect IU to have a top ten offense next season, but I do expect significant, tangible improvement (i.e., a lot more point). And getting back to six wins would be nice!

  14. DeBoer’s teams averaged 36+, IU averaged 24+, our opponents averaged 30. Our defense should be better next season. At 32-36 ppg IU can win many games!

  15. I don’t think he ever faced defenses like Michigan, MSU, Ohio State or Penn State. 36+ in the B1G East may be a stretch.

    1. True, in an absolute sense, that DeBoer has not faced the likes of OSU, etc. But he’s never had the talent that he’ll have at IU, either. He’s been a success against what he has faced, which is all that he can be judged by.

  16. DeBoer’s first test will be the quarterback that is selected to start the season. If Ramsey is chosen to be the starter, it had better be because both of the other two QBs are unavailable due to injury or NCAA rules (transfer). If all three QBs are healthy and available, and Ramsey is chosen to be the starter, it will be another disappointing season. The younger guys need experience against IU’s weaker opponents before the Big Ten schedule begins. Ramsey simply does not have the arm strength/talent to lead a high-performing offense, and since all three guys will be starting fresh in a new offensive system, the value of his experience is diminished.

    In order to increase average points scored per game, you need opposing defenses to respect the deep passing threat. That opens up the running game and the short and intermediate passing game. Ramsey’s a fine young man, a courageous young man, and probably a great teammate. But he simply does not have the physical talent to be a starting Big Ten QB. Hopefully, DeBoer has already realized that and will have the autonomy to pick the QB that his offense needs to be successful.

    1. I would suggest Ramsey pound the ‘Good Book’ this summer….Tie about 10 really thick old heavy ‘Good Books’ together and bench press them. 100 pounds of bible under each arm. Do this while Allen is in an area to observe. I would also suggest a muscle shirt with large glowing blue cross….and the slogan “First and Ten Commandments.”
      I mean, do you want this starting job..or not?

    2. I’d say it’s a safe bet to assume that one of those three QB’s won’t be on the roster come game one. I’d love to have all three but we all know how the game is today.

  17. ” . . . the autonomy to pick the QB that his offense needs to be successful.” Indeed. And whether that happens will depend on the maturity/growth of Tom Allen as a head coach. Said maturity/growth to include some much-needed gravitas on the sideline (E.g., a dignified smile of contentment when IU makes a mildly successful play instead of the embarrassing, hyper-spasmodic eruptions we’ve seen the last couple of years.)

  18. Given distractions in my own life and Hoosier hoops, I literally missed the announcement of the hiring. Looks very promising to me. As for Payton Ramsey, well, barring injury, get used to carrying a clipboard. IU will now have two QBs in the corral who can out sling Ramsey. Who, given the circumstances and the crappy framework he was given to operate in, did an admirable job. And, without true insight into what happened behind the scenes, we can only speculate as to what transpired with Penix before his injury. While obviously a superior physical talent to Ramsey, maybe he did a poor job in film study, analysis of what to do under hypothetical situations based on different Big10 defenses, etc. I am currently reading Kirk Haston’s nice recap about playing under Knight. Haston emphasizes IU players earned their playing time in practice, not based on in-game performance. Maybe Allen has a similar approach. So who’s to say how things progressed with Penix, who, although an early entry to IU, was still just a Freshman?

    At any rate, IMHO, it’s the most exciting time in my personal history of being a IU football fan, reaching back to 1988 when this PacNW native enrolled as a graduate student at football-challenged IU. I held student season tickets for 6 years, and quickly saw in 1988, when IU was good for crying out loud under Mallory, just how incredibly fickle supposed football fans can be. I was there among the empty seats at Memorial Stadium when IU took Ohio State behind the wood shed 41-7. I get so tired of hearing the chicken and the egg bit. On the whole, IU’s football fans have given football abysmal support, starting with the joke of a student body that leaves en mass at half time to get to their precious Saturday parties. My hope is that IU, in Tom Allen, has found the perfect fit and jewel it needed for football akin to what Kansas State found in Bill Snyder and what Iowa State appears to have found in Matt Campbell.

    1. PAC- Enrolled in grad school and had season tickets for 6 years? So it took you 6 years to get through grad school? Wow! And I thought I was a slow learner…. Yep these are exciting times for IUFB. Remember, we’re still undefeated for 2019 while Alabama is 0-1.

      1. “A PhD takes twice as long as a bachelor’s degree to complete. The average student takes 8.2 years . . . .” Source: CBS News. Which is why 123’s handle isn’t 1234, he only got a Bachelor’s and then couldn’t count any higher! Congrats on being above average, PacNWHoosier.

        1. A bachelors degree is far from average…And many of the wealthiest/most successful in the tech world didn’t bother.
          There’s probably more PhD’s in unemployment lines….or struggling while underemployed with skills not applicable to what’s needed to survive in a rapidly changing economy(often lacking in social skills ….which can often manifest via signs of overreaction, narcissism, delusions of grandeur, unnecessary brashness, braggadocios behavior…or finding time for blogs…lol).

  19. PacNW Hoosier, good post and you pointed out many good issues about IUFB coming into the 2019 season.

    123, I love your 2019 comment IUFB undefeated and Alabama 0-1.

    There have been many good things about IUFB coming in the next several years. Maybe they all come together and produce a 6 win or winning season in 2019; if IU can do this 2020 could be a very good year for IUFB. Talent is improving with the 2018 and 2019 classes, having a cutting edge S&C program, add in a new OC with a great track record we may see IU moving up in the B1G.

    1. Reminds me of a comment after IU beat Missouri that Indiana had won more SEC games in the previous two seasons than Kentucky.

  20. At any rate, IMHO, it’s the most exciting time in my personal history of being a IU football fan, reaching back to 1988

    Isn’t simply reading such a statement somewhat disturbing….? I mean, I’ve heard of abstinence, but this is ridiculous!
    Good thing you didn’t wait a bit longer in “reaching back”…or you might have been reaching from underneath a headstone. Life of an IU football fan, I suppose.
    I’m also super confident in Allen. If we don’t get to a major bowl during his tenure, I still think we’ll get voted into The Rapture Playoff. Could be 10 years….so just hold that excitement for a just a little longer. I think that comes out to about 87, 600 hours(nothing compared to the 273, 200 hours elapsed since you were last excited in 1988). Patience is a virtue …It might even get you into Football heaven.
    “Over the crossbar…and into the wind”…..IT’s GOOOOOD!….oh, wait..No…?….IT’s GODDDDDDDD!

  21. I think we should start a betting pool on Scoop…..

    Which erupts first? vesuvius13(V13) after IU wins a major bowl game …or Mount Vesuvius?

    Note: Mount Vesuvius’s last eruption was 1944. IU’s last and only Rose Bowl appearance was in 1967. IU erupted for 3 points in that game…losing to USC (PacNW Hoosier was probably on sidewalk in Seattle participating in zero contact hopscotch and still a bit unaware of what ‘abstinence’ at Rose Bowls actually meant).
    Indiana has participated in eleven bowl games in 120 seasons, garnering a record of 3–8.

  22. Hey 123?! How many PhDs in molecular biology do you have? Grad school didn’t cost me a dime. In fact, they paid for me to go. Including $15000/year and $5000 in equipment and supplies over the last three years when I was the recipient of a grant from a leading private corporation in Indiana. I also didn’t pay a dime when Eli Lilly paid for me to go to law school at IU School of Law, Indianapolis. Slow learner? How about darn smart learner who is proud of his two advanced IU degrees. Way to talk out of your tail when you don’t know the facts.

    1. Pac- lighten up. It was a quick and probably overly dry attempt at humor. No one would think anyone going to grad school at IU was a slow learner. I went to grad school free too but because of my test scores. So I’m not exactly a slow learner either.

  23. Oh, Lord…Another one of these on Scoop.

    You guys can blame me….It likely happens when they type “Harvard hillbillies” into their search bar. Insecurities, I suppose.
    The first Google hit comes up Hoosier Scoop. I am very sorry….

    1. I studied a lot of molecular structures as an IU undergrad. There was Diana, Lena, Lisa. Of course, it was all theoretical, no hands-on work at all.

      1. I feel your pain…Well, not actually. I did molecular study of a gorgeous structure from Brazil who sat next to me in an American History lecture. Why on earth did I not ask for more advanced study …is beyond me.

      2. I was a terrible student until I went into the military. I really am amazed I graduated.

        After the service I never got anything but A’s. I was a child before that.

  24. Now, now gentlemen. No need to get into a “urinating” contest over graduate degrees. I applaud/congratulate anyone who gets a graduate degree at a good school like IU. I was working full time in a job that involved significant overnight travel, attending my first semester in pursuit of my MBA (part time), and one morning my wife informed me that I was going to be a father. That ended my pursuit of an MBA, which turned out to be unnecessary due to the quality of my education from IU’s School of Business.

    Strongly agree with the comment by Davis above when he wrote, “Said growth to include much-needed gravitas on the sideline (E.g., a dignified smile …. when IU makes a mildly successful play instead of the embarrassing, hyper-spasmodic eruptions we’ve seen…). Someone needs to take Allen aside and say, “coach, love your excitement and enthusiasm, but you need to start acting like you’ve been thee before and save the big celebrations for when you accomplish something significant.”

    1. “Act like you’ve been there before”….? Indiana Football has never been there before.
      Something to ponder….for all of the PhD’s and ‘straight A’ students who in self-infatuations are not acting like they’ve been there before. Aren’t you jumping around in face paint? Maybe even barefoot….or? Never mind.

  25. Someone needs to take Allen aside and say, “coach, love your excitement and enthusiasm, but you need to start acting like you’ve been thee before

    Life in contradictions: You never had such a comment for Mr. Cirque du Soleil of McCracken from 2008-2017. Nine years and you never thought that dude was overkill? Did you notice the cue cards? Did you ever notice the halftime interview on national television explaining how prayer circles in the locker room is how you win a 2nd round game? Do you ever notice hunting down Jeff Meyer at the end of a Michigan game while spitting “YOU WRECKED THE PROGRAM!” in his face? Did you ever notice all those Harbaughs at our home games…functioning as billboards of validation behind our bench?
    Act like you’ve been there before…? Yeah, right.

  26. I really don’t give a damn if coach Allen on the sidelines during games goes barefoot, sings opera and wears face paint. Just WIN!

  27. Good point, HC, as long as T.A.’s team wins! But the problem with T.A.’s “hyper-spasmodic eruptions” is that they’re often in response to minor successes during games his team is losing. It sends the wrong message to his players and suggests he’s “missing the forest for the threes.” It’d be like a person jumping out of their chair, loudly yelling a cheer and calling their parents to celebrate getting two correct answers on a final exam that they failed. It’s inappropriate to celebrate a few minor successes when the overall result is failure. As you may know, managers are taught that when they first begin to lead a new employee, it’s important to praise every success and correct every mistake, no matter how minor. But over time you, as the subordinate gains knowledge and experience, good managers reserve their praise for bigger achievements while still correcting mistakes. That’s how you reinforce behavior that produces success for the individual and the entire organization. If you think about it, that was one of Bob Knight’s fundamental coaching tactics. But it appears T.A. has not learned to apply that concept and has been too easily pleased. And T.A. goes over-the-top ballistic on officials far too often, which diminishes his credibility with the people he’s trying to influence.

    If T.A. ever leads IU to a winning season, I’ll be right there with him in creating “hyper-spasmodic eruptions.” Until then, I’ll demonstrate some restraint.

  28. When I watch teams like Michigan State, Iowa and Northwestern, they seem to make up for talent deficiencies with better scheme, strategy and execution. With the exceptions of the Virginia and Ball State games, I didn’t feel Coach Allen’s team was the better prepared or the more likely to outperform their opponents. I hope that changes this year with the new offensive and defensive coordinators. And somehow Coach Allen has find ways to motivate himself less and motivate the players more.

  29. “Unprepared” hits the nail on the head. Maybe now that Allen has given up the DC job (he’ll have to fight some urges to make that decision effective) he can give some attention to how the whole thing is supposed to come together on gamed day.

    1. Give our roster to Urban Meyer and see how “prepared” he looks.

      Most issues for IU football are on the talent disparity side of the equation. It’s always been that way. It remains that way. We get some hot shot qb itching for playing time coming clear from Venice Beach…or Mormon country and suddenly its sold as the panacea. Depth and full array of top talent will likely continue to plague Hoosier football. And when you play in the BigTen East, you simply have no room for error …or lack of talent at ALL positions.
      Sadly, talent disparities it’s becoming the order of the day in Hoosier basketball as well. Take one look at teams like Duke, UK, Kansas, Virginia, Michigan, Tennessee…and most of the top 25 college teams(dare I say even Purdue at this juncture) and our talent just doesn’t stack up. It’s not even close.

      We have become a mid-major in both major sports. And there are plenty of mid-majors who could give us all we could handle in both football and basketball. That’s just the reality right now. It’s been the reality for quite some time. We do little to hold up this conference. Not even sure if we belong anymore than Northwestern….Northwestern is much stronger in football.

  30. The best prepared IU team Tom Allen ever coached was the team that lost to Utah in the bowl game two years ago. Utah was the better team, but IU was well prepared, played tough and lost a close game. Since then, IU has not appeared as well prepared in spite of having better talent. Can that all be tied to the offensive coordinator? I don’t think so.

    1. Who was the OC for that game? It certainly says something about preparedness. That offensive staff new how to coach 2-3* talent. Something DeBord never has experienced succeeding with anywhere that level of talent has been the majority available.

  31. Of course it can’t, and I don’t think anyone here thinks so, either. For example, I think the decision whether the IU is in four-down territory should be made long before IU is actually in four-down territory. Whether that is the call of the HC or OC is not the point; if the former then the OC should make it so that IU is prepared, or if it’s delegated to the OC, then that’s part of the OC being prepared.

    1. I may be wrong but I would bet the decision to go for it on 4th down is made by by the HC at least 90% of the time.

      It’s hard for me to imagine the control freaks that most head coaches are turning over that call.

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