On Sunday it was announced by Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports that Indiana University would retain head coach Kevin Wilson for at least the 2015 season.
This decision comes as no surprise to those around the program. Wilson closed out his fourth year at the school with a second straight victory over rival Purdue. However, the Hoosiers finished the season with a 4-8 record, 1-7 in the Big Ten. 2014 was a clear step back in the tenure of Wilson, who saw his win total increase every year except for this season. Wilson is 14-34 (.292) through four years and has not been to a bowl game since joining the Hoosiers in 2011.
Wilson, who should be on the hot seat, does get a reprieve for a disappointing 2014 season seeing that he lost his starting and backup quarterbacks for the season in the middle of October, and was forced to play a true freshman who had not gotten sufficient reps in practice to compete in the Big Ten. Heading into the season every Hoosier fan, coach, and player knew that the team would be in trouble if Nate Sudfeld went down. That is because the two quarterbacks who were supposed to battle for playing time, Cam Coffman and Tre Roberson, transferred, leaving IU nearly empty at the quarterback spot. Wilson does take some of the blame for a lack of depth, but the timing of Tre Roberson’s transfer in early June left little room to make any moves.
While most of the country would find his record at Indiana grounds for termination, people have to remember that this is Indiana. The life span of a head coach at the school since 1997 has been shorter than that of a fruit fly. Wilson is the fifth head coach to attempt to turn the program around since the university fired Bill Mallory after the season in 1996. It does not take a math genius to figure out that there is no consistency whatsoever in the football program and that deficiency shows with just one bowl appearance in the last 20 years. Indiana athletic director Fred Glass, the man who hired Wilson to turn this program around, is doing the right thing by giving Wilson the 2015 season to show more improvement.
This is a program that needs some form of consistency to build a foundation with. Wilson has brought in two of the best recruiting classes in IU football history in 2013 and 2014, and has the Hoosiers competing with the top teams in the conference every year. They may not be winning those games, but there have been no 83-20-blow outs either. The most important thing that the Hoosier teams under Wilson have shown is that they will not quit and they play hard in every game no matter what the score is. That says a lot about both the players and the coach of this team.
Hoosier Nation has to show some more patience and remember that IU has the worst record in NCAA history, and that righting this ship is not going to happen in just four years.
*Section Photo credit to Michael Hickey, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Pat Lovell, USA Today Sports