Kevin Johns and James Patton were both relieved of their coaching duties today, according to a source close to the program.
Johns spent the past six seasons with IU football. His responsibilities included wide receivers coach (since 2011), quarterbacks coach (since 2012), co-offensive coordinator for his first three seasons and offensive coordinator for the past three.
IU Coach Tom Allen adjusted Johns’ responsibilities for the Foster Farms Bowl on Dec. 28 to cover just wide receivers and offensive coordinator, promoting Shawn Watson from a quality control position to quarterbacks coach.
Johns played a significant role in what had been a potent Hoosier offense in past years, especially in 2015, when IU became the fourth team in FBS history to have someone pass for at least 3,500 yards, two players rush for over 1,000 and another notch over 1,000 yards receiving.
IU saw at least one running back register at least 1,000 yards each of the past three seasons, Tevin Coleman even eclipsing the 2,000 yard mark in 2014, and under Johns' tutelage Nate Sudfeld finished his career in Bloomington last year as IU's career leader in numerous categories, including touchdowns and passing yards.
Overall, the Hoosiers led the Big Ten in passing offense in 2012, 2013 and 2015, and last year were the first Big Ten team to lead the conference in total offense, scoring offense and passing offense since Ohio State in 1995.
2016 saw IU slip in the conference rankings in various offensive statistics, however, and while the passing attack under JUCO transfer Richard Lagow finished second in the Big Ten and the team's total offense finished fourth, Lagow threw the second-most interceptions in the conference and IU was in the bottom half in scoring offense.
Patton spent the past four seasons with IU football. He coached tight ends and fullbacks for the past three seasons, and served as offensive recruiting coordinator the past two, after serving as a recruiting and special teams coordinator and assistant defensive line coach his first year with the program.
Both Johns and Patton have deep ties to former IU head coach Kevin Wilson, who resigned last month, that go past their collective time in Bloomington.
Johns was an offensive graduate assistant at Northwestern from 1999-2001 while Wilson was the offensive coordinator there, and Patton spent six years with Wilson at Miami (1990-94, 1998), three with him at Northwestern (1999-2001), and five with him at Oklahoma (2006-10).