“We honed in one guy pretty quickly, and I’m thrilled to death that we got him,” Glass said.
Just more than a week after Glass fired former IU football coach Bill Lynch, he locked up “his guy” to a seven-year contract at $1.2 million per year.
After the firing of Lynch on Nov. 28, Glass took the reins of heading the search to fill the vacancy. Glass made sure to emphasize that if there were any talks related to the coaching search beside what he was publicly saying, the listener should take it with a grain of salt.
Glass stated that he would contact the collegiate sports consulting group, Neinas Sports Services and consultant Chuck Neinas. The connection with Neinas turned out to be the reason Glass was pointed in Wilson’s direction.
With no head coaching pedigree and current connection to IU, Glass admitted that before the Neinas’ guidance, Wilson was not on his radar.
“That’s the purpose of having a good guide,” Glass said. “When you go out in the river, you need a fisher guide to tell you where the good fishing holes are.”
Uncertainty about Lynch’s future allowed Glass to map out a contingency plan before the firing took place. Glass said Wilson was one of the first guys Neinas identified.
Dozens of phone calls were made to respected sources asking questions about Wilson, and Glass continued to hear positive things.
“As I called around, people would go, ‘oh yeah, that’s a good one,’” Glass said.
Glass hit the ground running, flying out to Norman, Okla., with IU Associate Athletics Director Scott Dolson to interview Wilson. They spent time with Wilson and his family, meeting his wife, five kids and his cats and dogs.
Right away, Glass knew that Wilson was the right fit.
“As soon as I met Kevin Wilson, I knew that everything I had heard about him was true,” Glass said. “As a matter of fact, Scott Dolson and I were dropped off by coach at the Norman Airport on Friday, and as soon as we shut the door, I turned to Scott and I said, ‘this is our guy.’”
But with Wilson still serving as the offensive coordinator for Oklahoma, Glass had to hold off on talks while the Sooners defeated Nebraska to win the Big 12 Championship.
Glass admitted he could not contain his excitement.
“We started talking in earnest on Sunday because I promised to leave him alone, and I was about to burst because when I left that meeting with him, I really knew he was the guy,” Glass said.
Instead of going through a lengthy process during several weeks, Glass did not deem it necessary to wait when he had his ideal candidate in front of him.
“If I wasn’t focused on a good guy, we’d be out there floundering, and we couldn’t do that at Indiana University,” Glass said. “We had to identify the right guy and get him. And that’s what we did.”
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