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Indiana Football: The Challenges of Finding a New Offensive Coordinator

You just conduct some interviews, extend your offer, and voila, you have a new offensive coordinator.  Right?

Not so fast my friend.

If only this decision, that will likely also decide the fate of Tom Allen’s own job, was so simple.

The reality?  It is a tangled web that will make your head hurt if you let it.

Kliff Kingsbury is the new head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.  He was briefly the new offensive coordinator at USC.  Now the Trojans are back in the market for a playcaller.

Kingsbury, by the way, has gone from fired college head coach, to college offensive coordinator, to NFL head coach over the course of a month.  Try to process that.  Or better yet, don’t.  It just further highlights how convoluted this whole thing is.

Among the names mentioned as a potential candidate for the USC job is former Maryland interim head coach Matt Canada.

As an IU graduate and former Hoosier offensive coordinator, Canada is a name that should sound familiar.  IU is widely believed to be talking to him also.

Canada is also reportedly interested in the Northern Illinois head coaching search — if Rod Carey leaves that post for Temple.

There are other possibilities out there whose names come with complications.

Oklahoma State offensive line coach Josh Henson has been linked to IU’s search process, but he is thought to be in line for a promotion in Stillwater.  The Cowboys are searching for an OC too.  Moreover, his performance as a playcaller at Missouri would likely lead to grumbling from the fan base wherever he ends up.

Another name that has been mentioned as a candidate is former Arkansas State offensive coordinator Buster Faulkner.  Yes former.  He was fired by the school today.  Imagine the optics of that hire by Allen.

USC and Oklahoma State aren’t the only power five schools in the market for an offensive coordinator.

That list also includes Georgia, Miami, and Pittsburgh.  Canada is reportedly on most of those schools’ lists too.

Also on those lists are some of the other top names that IU likely has their eyes on like Graham Harrell, Tim Albin and Brian Wright.

There are NFL offensive coordinator openings too, and a lot of the names on college lists are on the pro lists too, including, you guessed it, Mr. Canada.

There is also a certain reality to having, shall we say, more prominent programs with openings.  Like it or not, each of those schools is, at least on the surface, likely to be a more attractive option for an up and coming candidate.

Allen has set the bar high too.  Last week he indicated that he wanted to find an experienced Division One playcaller.  He didn’t say it, but presumably that is someone who isn’t available merely because he was fired.

This all likely means that this process gets extended out beyond the timeline that you may have been expected.  For some, it already has.

None of this is to say that Indiana is an unattractive destination.  The Hoosiers have three high quality quarterbacks competing for the starting job, including four-star transfer Jack Tuttle.  Any good offensive coordinator knows that he needs a good quarterback, and IU can offer more than one.

The Hoosiers also have a solid nucleus of returning wide receivers, and a very talented group of running backs.  There is a lot to work with here for the right offensive coordinator.

And don’t forget about improved recruiting, improving facilities, and a respected staff that includes Dr. Matt Rhea and Dave Ballou.

Moreover, despite the challenges of winning at Indiana, it has been shown repeatedly that a high caliber offense can exist in Bloomington.  Kevin Wilson and none other than Canada have clearly demonstrated that.

So the Hoosiers do have a lot to offer for the right guy.  Hopefully even a lot of money if the resume warrants it.

But who is he in this tangled web of courtship?

Conveniently, all of the college football coaches are in San Antonio at a convention this week.

At least they all know how to find each other.

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