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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

Wilson set to make $1.2 million per year during 7-year contract

Kevin Wilson

There’s no shying away from the fact that Kevin Wilson’s salary with IU is an enormous upward climb for the program.

According to the terms Wilson and IU athletics director Glass have agreed to — there’s no final contract as of yet — Wilson stands to make $1.2 million per year at IU with a seven-year deal.

In comparison, former IU coach Bill Lynch made $658,750 per season according to the 2009 USA Today Salary Survey.

Where will IU get the money?

“There’s really two sources on that,” Glass said, before noting that the money is not coming from hoped-for increases in tickets sales. “It’s not wishing. ... I think that would be irresponsible.”

Instead, the money is coming from a renegotiated marketing agreement with Learfield Sports as well as expanded revenues coming to IU via the Big Ten Network.

To get that go ahead, Glass had to get approval of the funds from IU president Michael McRobbie. The school president was involved with Wilson’s hiring and met with the new coach Monday in Indianapolis.

“Ultimately the allocation of those funds goes through the University,” Glass said. “And while I think the University will appropriately retain some of those for non-athletic purposes, they will let us have enough to do the things that we need to do to show our commitment to the football program.”

Straight business

The demeanor of Wilson never delineated much from a business-like approach during the announcement. His answers concerning the day-to-day operations of his team followed suit — and might have included an off-hand reference to former coach Bill Lynch’s practice style regularly avoiding full contact.

“The place I come from, shoot, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best days,” Wilson said. “We’re going to learn how to win on a daily basis.”

‘We’ll meet again’

With Nebraska having played their last game in the Big 12 against Wilson’s Oklahoma Sooners, he was asked his thoughts about having to face Nebraska again when they joined the Big Ten. Although Nebraska and IU are not scheduled to play each other for the next two seasons, Wilson confidently believed their paths could still cross.

“If they’re good enough to win their division, then we got a chance to see them in the next two years,” Wilson said with a straight face amidst a roar of laughter from the crowd referring to the newly-created Big Ten championship game for 2011. “So we’ll see if they can get there.”

A family man

Seated in the front row for the announcement was Wilson’s wife Angie and their five children who made the trip Tuesday from Norman, Okla. To close the press conference, Wilson had them all stand while he introduced each by name — somewhat to the chagrin of his 14 and 11-year-old daughters.

“We’ve already enhanced our attendance right there,” Wilson joked.

Players present, unavailable

Wilson met with IU’s current players in a meeting just before Tuesday’s press conference, and several of them watch Wilson’s announcement inside the Henke Hall of Champions.

Those players included wide out Tandon Doss, linebacker Jeff Thomas, offensive lineman Justin Pagan, defensive tackle Larry Black, linebacker Chad Sherer and others. However, none of the players were permitted to talk with the assembled media.

Offensive strategy a fluid idea

Wilson has been blessed with the likes of working with Heisman-winning NFL quarterback Sam Bradford and All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson. But at IU, Wilson will be working with less experienced ball offensive players such as sophomore tailback Darius Willis and redshirt freshman quarterback Edward Wright-Baker.

Instead of being set on running the oft-used spread as he did at Oklahoma, Wilson is not willing to pinpoint a specific style of offense that he will incorporate. Wilson’s style of play will be determined from the personnel.

“We’ll play to what we can block, and we’ll play to what the quarterback can handle,” Wilson said. “If we can’t do it or we can’t block, then it doesn’t matter.”

Wilson begins pitch to current IU recruits

Lynch was set to bring in his highest rated recruiting class in 2011. With Lynch’s termination, several of these recruits have either opted to go elsewhere or are evaluating their options.

Wilson, who will honor all prior commitments, is now faced with the task of convincing the on-the-fence recruits to stay committed to IU.

“A commitment is no different than getting engaged. We can all bail out if want to until we walk down that aisle,” Wilson said, again drawing laughter. “But in the end, they picked a great school, they picked a tremendous community in a Big Ten environment, and I don’t think they’ll do anything but be excited about what we’re going to put on the field for them.”

Fiesta Bowl plans

With Oklahoma preparing to take on Connecticut in the Fiesta Bowl, Wilson’s status as OU’s offensive coordinator after the hire is very much in the air.

Wilson said he would be staying in Bloomington for the next few days to get acclimated.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops will decide if Wilson will coach the Fiesta Bowl, Wilson said. Meanwhile, he’s not leaving IU out to pasture.

“Within our league we got eight teams playing bowls. They’re not sitting around eating sweet potato pie,” Wilson said. “I need to give our team some direction in the next month.”

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