Grantland’s Michael Weinreb on the rise of Indiana football

  • 09/01/2011 3:28 pm in

Grantland: The Rise of Indiana Football

But while Wilson has never been a head coach before (unless you count that year he spent at Foard High School in his home state of North Carolina), he’s been one of the most successful assistant coaches in the country for more than a decade. At Northwestern he convinced coach Randy Walker to shift to a spread offense, thereby making the Wildcats a perennial Big Ten competitor; at Oklahoma he did the same thing, expanding Bob Stoops’ offense toward the edges of the field and shaping quarterback Sam Bradford into a first-round draft pick.

All this was accomplished by moving quickly; Bradford’s strength, Wilson says, is that he was able to process information incredibly fast, “like the Internet.” (Wilson relies largely on video as a teaching tool, because he doesn’t believe kids have the patience to read anymore.) Even when he is a hard-ass, he does it with swiftness: If a player fumbles once during practice, he is immediately pulled for the rest of the session without a word. In Wilson’s practices, one drill melds into another, and sets are run with urgency, up and down the field, with the music serving as a metronome. (At one point, the team’s placekicker does the worm.) Acefor3Acefor3Coltfor3 … “You gotta learn to play when it’s cluttered up,” he says. “Things are going on, still gotta listen, still gotta concentrate.”

Filed to:

  • Plane1972

    Sounds like a really entertaining dude to observe. I’m one of those lukewarm football fans who was turned by the radio interview. I’ll be watching a lot closer this season.

  • hoosierken

    This is a great thing talking foorball on a basketball site, like many of you I would watch 1or 2 football games a year, one being the Purdue game and the other being if I had nothing better to do on Saturday, ya we all have been there with the hoopla about a new football season starting at IU and then its down hill from there, but Coach Wilson has caught my attention, I see something great out of this guy, there is something about to happen for IU football, this guy has something about him that makes me want to believe there is much better days ahead, and just maybe, maybe we will have some football banners flying along side the 5 basketball banners and I believe a 6th is coming soon, so lets all be behind our team and Coach Wilson and fill the stadium and keep filling it, this will help the Coach in winning and recruiting! GO IU FOOTBALL!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • hoosierken

    This is a great thing talking foorball on a basketball site, like many of you I would watch 1or 2 football games a year, one being the Purdue game and the other being if I had nothing better to do on Saturday, ya we all have been there with the hoopla about a new football season starting at IU and then its down hill from there, but Coach Wilson has caught my attention, I see something great out of this guy, there is something about to happen for IU football, this guy has something about him that makes me want to believe there is much better days ahead, and just maybe, maybe we will have some football banners flying along side the 5 basketball banners and I believe a 6th is coming soon, so lets all be behind our team and Coach Wilson and fill the stadium and keep filling it, this will help the Coach in winning and recruiting! GO IU FOOTBALL!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • hoosierken

    This is a great thing talking foorball on a basketball site, like many of you I would watch 1or 2 football games a year, one being the Purdue game and the other being if I had nothing better to do on Saturday, ya we all have been there with the hoopla about a new football season starting at IU and then its down hill from there, but Coach Wilson has caught my attention, I see something great out of this guy, there is something about to happen for IU football, this guy has something about him that makes me want to believe there is much better days ahead, and just maybe, maybe we will have some football banners flying along side the 5 basketball banners and I believe a 6th is coming soon, so lets all be behind our team and Coach Wilson and fill the stadium and keep filling it, this will help the Coach in winning and recruiting! GO IU FOOTBALL!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ryanbeyl

    Welcome to the world. Of football alex.

  • Ryanbeyl

    Welcome to the world. Of football alex.

  • Ryanbeyl

    Welcome to the world. Of football alex.

  • Tgoede1

    This was a very entertaining, and enlightening article.  Yeah, I’m a lil bit excited about Hoosier football too.  A good read……….

  • Tgoede1

    This was a very entertaining, and enlightening article.  Yeah, I’m a lil bit excited about Hoosier football too.  A good read……….

  • Tgoede1

    This was a very entertaining, and enlightening article.  Yeah, I’m a lil bit excited about Hoosier football too.  A good read……….

  • IUeconAlum

    Love it. I can’t wait to watch the football team this year.

  • IUeconAlum

    Love it. I can’t wait to watch the football team this year.

  • eph521

    Anyone else feel like we finally we got our football coach? The kind we want and need?  No BS. No nonsense. No excuses.

  • Anonymous

    I am digging this Quick Link addition, and I am also enjoying getting some football news on the site. This is probably the most excited I have been about IU football since watching Randle El or seeing the way Hep was shaping the program.

  • Anonymous

    You have to love the guy’s mastery of the King’s english! I think he meant Wilson and the Coaching staff knew what they were getting into..and an attitude change was the first priority.

  • Anonymous

    My thoughts exactly. The radio interview and how he handled those a$$holes made me sit up and take notice that this is a guy that isn’t gonna take anything off of anybody and is gonna get things done. All those assistants that came on board and left just as quickly may regret that decision not too far down the road.

  • Anonymous

    Alex, is this a test run to see what kind of response you get from us on a, as of right now, bball only site ?

    If so count me as somebody that will come here to read FB articles also.

  • Anonymous

    Alex, is this a test run to see what kind of response you get from us on a, as of right now, bball only site ?

    If so count me as somebody that will come here to read FB articles also.

  • Anonymous

    Alex, is this a test run to see what kind of response you get from us on a, as of right now, bball only site ?

    If so count me as somebody that will come here to read FB articles also.

  • kentuckyHOOSIER

    Good article …..I’ve been excited about Coach Wilson since his hire !!!!!