Hoosiers to hire Georgia’s Charlton Warren as defensive coordinator

Indiana will hire Georgia defensive backs coach Charlton Warren as its next defensive coordinator, a source confirms.

Warren has spent the last two seasons with the Bulldogs. Before that, he had stints at Florida (2018), Tennessee (‘17), North Carolina (’15-16), and Nebraska (’14). The first part of Warren’s career was at Air Force (2005-13), his alma mater, where he was either the defensive coordinator or co-defensive coordinator from 2008-13. 

Warren will replace Kane Wommack, who has become the head coach at South Alabama. This is the second year in a row where IU coach Tom Allen has had to replace a coordinator. Kalen DeBoer, who guided the offense in 2019, became Fresno State’s head coach ahead of the 2020 season.

ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg was the first to report IU’s plan to hire Warren as Wommack’s replacement.

Wommack also left a vacancy at linebackers coach. Though Warren’s specialty as a position coach is defensive backs, Allen said last week that he believed he had enough versatility on his current staff to accommodate a non-linebackers coach as defensive coordinator. This move would likely require some shuffling.

Warren does come to the Hoosiers with some significant Power 5 experience, which wasn’t the case upon Wommack’s arrival from South Alabama in 2018. During his first season at Georgia in ’19, Warren helped coach a unit that led the nation in scoring defense and rushing defense. There, he also helped mentor a first-team All-American, safety J.R. Reed.

Before his lone season at Florida, Warren was both the defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator at Tennessee under Butch Jones. His stay was short because Jeremy Pruitt would be hired as the Volunteers’ next head coach after the 2017 season.

At Florida, Warren was part of a defense that rebounded in several departments, including Allen’s most coveted category, takeaways. The Gators went from tied for 81st in takeaways in 2017, with 17, to tied for 11th, with 26, that next season.

Warren has also impressed as a recruiter. He was one of the main reasons Georgia landed a 2020 five-star prospect, Arizona cornerback Kelee Ringo, who was considered the No. 4 player in that class. Warren has also helped Georgia secure five four-star prospects in two years.

As a player, Warren was a three-year letterman at Air Force until his graduation in 1999. Before returning to Air Force as a coach in 2005, he was stationed at Eglin Air Force Base as an air-to-ground weapons program manager for the Air Armament Center.

The end of Warren’s tenure at Air Force has a unique connection to IU. He departed for Nebraska shortly after Air Force hired Brian Knorr as its top defensive coach in 2014. Knorr was at Air Force for just 10 days, before he was hired by Kevin Wilson to be IU’s defensive coordinator. Knorr was replaced by Allen in 2016.

Knorr, also an alum of Air Force, has been a linebackers coach and assistant head coach at the school since 2018.

16 comments

  1. Coach Allen continues to impress with who he brings in to coach IU players. This hire should help recruiting in the south and he has a very good resume. Now lets see who coach Allen can bring in as IU’s RB coach.

    Coach Warren seems to be a very good coach based on his history as a coach and how well the teams he was part of did. I wonder how he will adjust the staff to cover the LBs now that three DBs coaches are on the staff. It sounds as if coach Allen already had a plan on where to move a coach to lead the LBs. We will have to see how he motivates the defense and how he gets them to play but I am impressed with coach Allen’s choice.

  2. Good pedigree, a step up in his career (that’s suggests a high level of motivation) and he sounds like an excellent recruiter. Based on the little we know this appears to be another excellent hire. We have to trust Tom Allen. He has shown us that he is a good judge of coaching talent. But the key will be Warren embracing the LOE culture and working well with his assistants. This makes me want to examine the transfer portal to see if there are any defenders from Georgia that Warren could poach right away.

  3. Coach Allen got his guy. To me having service academy experience in a resume is always a big +. He’ll communucate well, command respect, blend well besides be a quick study. I’m all in.

  4. As an Air Force veteran,..”upward and onward”. I still maintain at least two more spots will be filled before spring practice, RB’s and ? Getting Warren is what I spoke of in an earlier post, “shrewd”. This guy (on paper anyway) brings multiple +’s to the program.

    1. One spot to fill, and it will be before the end of the month. Warren is an interesting pick because there will have to be some internal reshuffling, but it’s good to get a guy in after being rebuffed by a couple others. Warren wasn’t leaving UGA unless he got the DC title, so we’ll see how all of that shakes out.

      1. Please explain the “rebuffed by a couple of others” comment. I am not an “insider”. Who turned down IU coaching offers?

        1. Chris Kiffin was one of the first guys offered, but he wasn’t interested. A couple of other guys from P5 staffs were “pursued”, but there wasn’t really any uptake. Hearing Warren came to them. Understatement that this is recruiting focused hire. An interesting choice.

  5. To think of the days when the Indiana job was a place where coaches went to die.

    Allen pulling a successful coach from an SEC school capable of making the CFP? Nails.

    Looking forward to seeing him on the sidelines.

  6. Good post from everyone and it will be a good place for Warren. I have heard he is going to be the LB coach but we will see if that is true. Warren has been in SEC schools and he will be a good recruiter for IU for the south players and other areas. I hope he brings in top star players and if top players don’t come in I will be glad to get players from the south that are good. 2022 class should be very good with the coaches we have. A lot of experience in the south by our coaches should bring better athletes to IU.

    1. Where’d you hear that information about him coaching line backs, a position he’s never coached previously, V?

      1. As I recall no one else has coached LB’S before although I’m not that familiar with ST’s Teegardin. On the surface it looks like a Warren/Allen coaching duo at LB.

      2. Not sure it is true but I read it on other sites, if not then coach Allen said one of his other coaches could coach LB if needed. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out and how coach Warren calls defenses and recruits for IU. I Like the hire and think Warren is a good one for IUFB no matter how the defense coaches stay in the same place or change positions.

  7. IU football undefeated big ten champs = Great hire
    IU football average wins 10+ per season after season = still a great hire
    IU football average 9 wins season after season = still a great hire
    8 wins season after season = still a great hire
    7 wins season after season = a good hire
    6 wins season after season = an average hire
    5 win average = below average hire and coaching staff hot seats
    4 win average and below = poor hire and new coaching staff

  8. An Athlon writer posted an article listing the 10 best B1G FB games of 2020. #1 & #2
    IU vs Bucks,
    IU vs PSU in that order. Proves to me the hype about IUFB being a big deal in 2020 is for real as it caught a lot of new eyes.

    1. 2020 for IU did catch a lot of eyes this season and I hope it leads to a great 2022 class pushing IU up in the B1G. I hope in 2021 season IU can do the same or better than 2022. Looking at James and Balwin who had 6.4 yds per run our RB will be fine without Scott. I want to see who our new RB is this week.

  9. The traditional Big Ten power FB programs are not going to give up their status and reputation without a fight, and I’m not talking about contests on the field. This next season is going to be very telling for IU FB and the traditional “big boy ” programs. Will MI finally see that Harbaugh was grossly over paid and has run his course. Will PSU slide further back or rebound? Will the new coach at IL repeat his performance at Arkansas or start to emulate his old program at Wisconsin? Will Purdue’s administration finally come the conclusion that they grossly over-paid for their head coach?

    Can’t wait!

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