As 2011 came to an end, the IU football team lost one of its co-offensive coordinators when Rod Smith left to coach at Arizona. On Jan. 3, IU Coach Kevin Wilson named Seth Littrell, coincidentally the former co-offensive coordinator at Arizona, to the post of offensive coordinator.
At the close of his first week as a Hoosier coach, Littrell spoke to the Indiana Daily Student about his new job and how everything will work during the upcoming football season.
IDS What has this week been like for you? Just a couple of days ago, you got hired here. What exactly has gone on this week?
SETH LITTRELL Anytime you take a new job, obviously, it’s getting down and dealing with paperwork and talking with a lot of coaches and meeting a lot of new people, trying to get your paperwork pushed through.
It’s hectic, just like with anything, but I’ll tell you what: it’s a great opportunity. I’m thrilled to be here. Any opportunity to work with a guy like Kevin Wilson, who I’ve known a long time. He’s an unbelievable football coach. Unbelievable offensive mind and has got a great staff here. I’ve really enjoyed, throughout this process, getting to know some people on offense and defense. I’ve known some guys who have bounced back here. I’ve known some guys already, so it’s been an easy transition. It’s been great, man. I’m really excited about the opportunity to come into a place like
IDS What kind of similarities are there in offensive philosophies between you and Wilson?
LITTRELL There are quite a few. Our pass concepts ... a lot of it’s the same. When he came to Oklahoma, it was actually that time when (former Texas Tech Coach) Mike Leach installed the system. After him, (former Oklahoma Offensive Coordinator and Kansas Coach Mark) Mangino kind of tweaked it a little bit, (former Oklahoma Offensive Coordinator) Chuck Long kind of tweaked it his way, and Kevin came in and did an unbelievable job.
He had top offenses year in and year out. It kind of was built off that system that was already in place. He’s done a great job everywhere he’s been offensively.
Obviously, he started at Northwestern with that run game he had and the spread stuff there was unbelievable.
He’s done a great job of adjusting the scheme to his personnel.
I think it will be an easy transition for both of us. We have a lot of the same concepts and the verbage is pretty similar, so I think it will be a pretty smooth transition.
IDS You’re coming into a system where there were co-offensive coordinators, but you will be named the sole offensive coordinator. What kind of differences will there be with just one person having that title?
LITTRELL Not any. (Former IU Co-Offensive Coordinator and current Quarterbacks Coach) Kevin Johns is a great coach. I’ve been around Kevin Johns, and he does an unbelievable job. He’s one of the top guys at what he does, and it’s been great getting to know him and sitting down and talking with him. Coach (Greg) Frey is an unbelievable offensive line coach. I have a lot of respect for him. (Running Backs Coach Deland) McCullough has done a great job.
The biggest thing about anything is you work as a staff. You come in and talk as a staff and work as a staff and everybody has input on every game plan, so it’s not like I come in here and do everything on my own. We work as a staff and Kevin Wilson is an offensive guy, so we’ll have his input.
We all have input. When it’s game day, obviously someone has to make calls, but, at the same time, everything that you do throughout the week is a teamwork deal and even on game day, everybody has ideas.
You learn to trust each other and get a great feel for each other. We all pull the rope in the same direction. It’s not like I’m coming in here and those guys have no input.
They’re going to have other input. Like I said, I’m a team guy and whatever helps us be successful and be competitive and win football games, I’m all for it.
I know they’ve got, offensively, some guys in place who can do some great things. I’m excited about the youth getting a year of experience and I think I’m coming into a great opportunity being around some guys who have played and have experience.
There’s great talent on the field. We’ve just got to put them in the best situation to be
competitive and win.
IDS What have you seen them do well, and what have you seen that you would like to maybe tweak a little bit that could use improvement?
LITTRELL I don’t know if I can sit here and say what I need to tweak or not want to tweak right now. It’s still too early. I couldn’t give a fair assessment right now because I’ve only watched a minimal amount of what I need to watch.
I know there are players in place that are guys that we can win with. That’s the first thing I’ve seen. But with some things that need to be changed, we have to sit down as a staff and cover those things as a staff.
We’ll work on that stuff together and whatever needs to be done. We’ve got great coaches in place, and we’ve got great players in place. Whatever needs to be done, we’ll all pull the rope in the same direction and get this thing right.
IDS You’ve been at Arizona and Texas Tech the past few years, but have you watched a lot of Big Ten football?
LITTRELL I’ve watched a lot of Big Ten football. Obviously, being on the West Coast, a lot of the Big Ten football games are on early and we play a lot of the late games, so you get an opportunity to sit down and watch a lot of games. The past couple of years, we’ve played Iowa, so we’ve watched film on Iowa the past couple of years.
It was an opportunity to see a lot of the Big Ten stuff. It’s a great league. Great players, great coaches, very prestigious programs, and it’s exciting to be in a top league like this.