IU officially announces hire of Charlton Warren as defensive coordinator

Indiana has officially secured its next defensive coordinator, former Georgia defensive backs coach Charlton Warren, and the Hoosiers have spared no expense to make it happen.

Warren will be paid $700,000 in the first year of his contract, according to IU, and then $725,000 in the second. By comparison, IU paid its last defensive coordinator, Kane Wommack, $460,000 a year. Wommack is now the head coach at South Alabama.

While an official contract has yet to be inked by Warren, these are the agreed upon terms, per IU, and they will make him the highest paid assistant on Tom Allen’s staff. Warren will be on par with Aaron Wellman, the program’s strength coach, who was offered a compensation package totaling $700,000 a year to come over from the New York Giants in 2020.

Warren was paid $600,000 a year, according to multiple reports, as Georgia’s defensive backs coach. So he’s earning a raise of $100,000 to come to IU and take on the program’s defensive coordinator duties.

Warren, 44, has been a secondary coach since 2014, but he held defensive coordinator responsibilities at his alma mater, Air Force, from 2008-2013.

“I am humbled Coach Allen has given me the opportunity to lead this awesome group of young men as Indiana University’s defensive coordinator,” Warren said in a release. “I cannot wait to help this team achieve greatness on and off the field.”

Warren was the defensive backs coach at Georgia for two seasons, where he was a renowned recruiter. In fact, he was rated by 247Sports as the No. 18 recruiter in the country during the 2020 cycle. He helped Georgia secure several high-profile commits, including five-star cornerback Kelee Ringo.

Prior to Georgia, Warren also had stints as a secondary coach at Florida (2018), Tennessee (‘17), North Carolina (’15-16), and Nebraska (’14).

“Charlton is a man of high character, a strong leader, a great recruiter and has the ability to pull greatness out of his players,” Allen said in a release. “I look forward to him capturing the hearts and minds of our defensive players and coaches as he continues to build our defense. We are pleased to welcome Charlton and his family to Bloomington.”

At IU, Warren will coach linebackers, the same position group as Wommack, so there will be no need to otherwise shuffle the defensive staff. This is a new role for Warren, however, who has never specifically coached linebackers.

Regardless, Warren has experience working at some of the top football programs in the SEC, and he has coached on defenses that excel at creating takeaways, which Allen has long prioritized. IU led the country last season in interceptions, producing 17 in its first seven games.

At Florida, Warren coached on a unit that went from tied for 81st nationally in takeaways, with 17, to tied for 11th, with 26, during the 2018 season. Georgia’s defense in 2020 ranked in the top 25 nationally in total defense (12th), scoring defense (16th) and takeaways (24th). Cornerback Eric Stokes was a first-team All-American, while safety Richard LeCounte was first-team All-SEC.

With a defensive coordinator secured, Allen still has one position coach to hire. Mike Hart, who was IU’s running backs coach, recently left for the same position at his alma mater, Michigan.

This will be the third season in a row where IU has broken in a new coordinator. Kalen DeBoer and Wommack were new leaders of the offense and defense, respectively, in 2019, and DeBoer then returned to Fresno State as head coach in 2020. Allen promoted former tight ends and quarterbacks coach Nick Sheridan to offensive coordinator ahead of the 2020 season.

Sheridan’s salary pays him $450,000 a year.

12 comments

  1. It is good to see an official announcement on Warren as it makes this choice real. Warren will bring recruiting chops to IU which is what IU needs to move up in the B1G even more. Any concerns about his lack DC experience or LB experience needs to be tempered by knowing coach Allen is experience in both positions. Warren seems to be a good fit for IUFB and someone that the players will believe in and be motivated by this coach.

    Now if coach Allen can bring in a very good recruiter and coach for RB IU will be in great shape to keep moving up in the B1G. The future of IUFB looks to be even better and I hope the team shows everyone in 2021 that there is no limit yet on how good IUFB can be.

    We need to remember IU is a much better team but they are not in the elite group yet. IU is missing a couple of things to be an elite team – better OL play, even better DL players, special RBs not just good ones, receivers that have elite skills -they may already be on the team. Right now the elite players on the team are at QB and corner; IU needs to fill the other positions with elite players to become one the best teams in the country.

  2. Warren’s new salary ($700,000) speaks to the cost of hiring quality assistant coaches/coordinators, especially those employed by SEC schools. And Warren won’t even be amongst the top 20 highest paid DC’s in the country! Warren’s IU salary is $240,000 more that Wommack was getting paid and is higher than Wommack’s head coaching salary at South Alabama. It’s an indication of what it costs to build/keep a winning FB program in a Power-five conference. Frankly, I’m surprised by the amount, and I’m a bit concerned about the disparity it creates amongst IU’s assistant coaches. Not saying Warren isn’t worth the money, but with the exception of our S&C coach, IU is paying Warren ~ $260,000 more than any other assistant coach on TA’s staff! That could ruffle some feathers!

    I’m most excited about Warren’s reputation as a recruiter with a lot of experience (and we can assume relationships) in territories dominated by the SEC. That’s got to pay dividends over the next few years.

    Anyone have any idea who TA will hire to replace Hart? It will be very interesting to see what they pay his replacement. Hart’s salary at IU was $375,000. And after agreeing to pay Warren $700,000, we can only assume that there’s not much money left in TA’s coaching compensation budget.

    1. Karen DeBoer made close to $800k as the OC in 2019, so we’ve been down this road. It’s why coaches who have opportunities move without hesitation, since salaries can often double (or more). I was told a RB coach is close, and that was at the end of last week.

  3. The good news about Warren’s pay is it shows our new AD will pay to improve the football program. I hope when things straighten out and fans can come in to Memorial stadium it will be full and the other assistants will get pay raises. Who knows how coach Allen will use his bonuses as it is possible he will give it to his assistant coaches or a % of it.

    AD Dolsen has IU moving up in football, maybe making Warren one of the best paid DCs in the B1G.

  4. Warren won’t be one of the best paid DCs in the BiG, he’ll likely be no higher than 8th or 9th.

  5. According to the USA data base on NCAAF Assistant Coaches Compensation in 2020, which was updated December 16, 2020, there were 16 assistant coaches in the Big Ten making salaries greater than $700,000 per year. We’re talking salaries here, not total income. USA’s database does not list each of their job titles and I’m not looking them up, but it really doesn’t matter, because that data puts things into perspective. Fyi, OSU has four assistant coaches whose salaries exceed $1 million per year; Kevin Wilson is one of them.

    When you analyze the numbers, it illustrates the gap between IU FB and the elite FB schools in the Big Ten. Fans who want to see IU FB continue to compete with the elite Big Ten FB schools had better buy tickets, not complain when ticket prices are increased, attend all the home games and write some checks to IU’s Athletic department. And even then, it’s going to be a challenge for TA to keep his best assistant coaches.

  6. Solid observations across the board. I might suggest that a team’s disparity in $ is an ‘indicator of things to come’. The new DC valued at $250,000+ more than his counterpart on the other side of the ball? As for Hart, his recruiting was superior, by a long shot, over any other position coach. However, if the OL is groomed to pass protect but unable to ‘move’ anyone when rushing, you get anemic numbers. I have no inside info,..but I not only expect replacement upgrades for Hiller and Sheridan,..I’d be surprised if their weren’t. It’s like having expensive racing tires on one axle and a two $59 specials on the other. Deboer’s pay, even though he left for a head coaching gig, and now, Warren’s hire at 700,00+ pretty much tells the story. OSU has position coaches making more than IU’s OC. At this point, it needs to happen. I expect it will, and soon.

    1. If “soon” means before the 2021 season, you’re very likely going to be disappointed, since neither are leaving unless it’s their choice.

  7. One thing that is clear the defense coaches are doing much better with talent than the OL. I like the tackles on offense talent is better but we may see the guards and centers that are young may be talent and show it in the next two years. The other thing that is not being very good is the TEs. Wright hasn’t seen the young TEs players in spring practices yet; I hope this spring practices he sees their talents and see how Cooper, Ivy, and others have much talent. I hope the younger guys are hungry and show coach Wright how good they are and not stick with any TEs not blocking well or catching balls. We need the offensive coaches to develop the talent the way the defensive guys have.

    We also need to see coach Sheridan this coming season call games better and show different running games and have check down routes for the QB. I hope Penix is healthy in 2021 and coach Sheridan works on his footwork but of course the OL and RB needs to do better job protecting him or any QB. Maybe IU can pull in a couple of transfer OL men with very good talent.

    I think coach Sheridan will be much better in 2021 with the OL getting better with more practice in the spring. It would be fun to see the offense really take off and have a great season to go along with a very good defense showing the world the defense wasn’t a one time thing.

    1. V13, I don’t think IU’s O-line did a bad job protecting their QBs this season. As you know, Penix’s injury happened on a running play, not because of a sack.

      As for TEs, they simply need to reduce their drops next season. Maybe Hendershot was distracted this season, but he was definitely “hearing footsteps” before the balls arrived on too many occasions.

      Brad, I would suggest that the best recruiting coaches on IU’s staff are those brining in the DBs and safeties. Hart did a good job recruiting, but in relative terms, I think the best job of recruiting was done by those who brought in IU’s current defensive backfield.

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