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IU football confirms hiring of Walt Bell as OC: “Walt checked all the boxes”

The IU football program and head coach Tom Allen confirmed the hiring of former UMass head coach Walt Bell as the new offensive coordinator.

IU Athletics issued the following release.

See also:  A look at Walt Bell’s offensive production as OC.

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. –  Indiana head football coach Tom Allen announced the hiring of Walt Bell as the program’s offensive coordinator on Thursday afternoon. Bell will also coach the quarterbacks.

Bell served as the head coach at the University of Massachusetts for the last three seasons after five campaigns as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Arkansas State University (2014-15), the University of Maryland (2016-17), and Florida State University (2018).

“Walt checked all the boxes that we were looking for,” Allen said. “His experience, creativity, and leadership make him an ideal fit. I was looking for someone to be the leader of the offense and Walt will be that. We welcome him and his family to Bloomington.”

Bell brings 15 years of overall experience with additional stints at the University of North Carolina (2012-13), University of Southern Miss (2010-11), Oklahoma State University (2009), and the University of Memphis (2007-08).

“I’m incredibly excited to work for a man like Tom Allen” Bell said. “Everyone I’ve talked with has raved about Indiana, and I’m ready to start building relationships with our players and working with this staff. I’m really looking forward to coaching in the Big Ten again and can’t wait to get started.”

In his lone season in Tallahassee, FSU ranked second in the ACC and 28th nationally with 270.1 passing yards per game. Deondre Francois finished the year with 2,731 passing yards and 15 touchdowns.

Bell managed the Terrapins as they rotated through four quarterbacks due to injuries in 2017. Maryland was one of just two teams in the nation to win at least three games with three different starting QBs. Despite the injuries, Bell’s offense ranked in the Top-20 nationally for fewest turnovers (14), which shared a school record.

Big Ten Receiver of the Year D.J. Moore broke the program’s single-season mark with 80 receptions. Moore also led the league with 1,033 receiving yards, as he became the Terps third 1,000-yard receiver. The Carolina Panthers selected Moore with the 24th pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

The previous season the Terrapins rushed for 2,594 yards, the school’s seventh 2,500-yard campaign and the first since 2003, and 26 rushing TDs, the program’s most in a decade. Perry Hills led the conference in completion percentage and was second in passing efficiency.

During Bell’s 26-game tenure at Arkansas State, the Red Wolves eclipsed 500 yards of total offense 11 times and 400 yards 18 times. The 2015 team sat 12th nationally averaging 40.0 points and totaled eight All-Sun Belt selections.

ASU set single-season school marks with 6,194 total yards, an average of 476.5 yards per game, 1,024 plays, 477 points, and 65 touchdowns in 2014. The team ranked 18th in the country in scoring (36.7), 20th in total offense, and 25th in rushing (216.4).

Bell oversaw the tight ends and was the recruiting coordinator in Chapel Hill. He was a part of an offense that broke 35 program records. The 2013 team averaged 432.4 total yards and 277.4 through the air.

In 2012, UNC won the ACC’s Coastal Division and closed 14th in the nation with 485.6 total yards. Bell helped pull in two recruiting classes that ranked in the ACC’s Top 5.

Tight end Eric Ebron, currently with the Pittsburgh Steelers, was picked 10th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. Ebron twice earned All-ACC acclaim and was a first-team All-American in 2013 after he corralled an ACC tight end record 973 yards. He tripled his freshman year output and finished with 40 receptions for 625 yards in his first year under Bell’s tutelage.

Bell was an offensive graduate assistant in 2010 before he was promoted to wide receivers coach in 2011 at Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles won the 2011 Conference USA championship and the Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl with a school-record 12 wins. Their offense ranked 14th nationally in scoring and 17th in total offense. Southern Miss racked up program records with 5,894 yards and 453.4 per game in 2010.

As a quality control coach in Stillwater, the Cowboys finished 9-4 and played in the Cotton Bowl. Bell began his career as a graduate assistant at Memphis, where he helped the Tigers to back-to-back bowl appearances.

A native of Dickson, Tenn., Bell was a four-year letterman at Middle Tennessee State University. He played wide receiver and earned two degrees, as he graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s in criminal justice administration and in 2006 with a master’s in sport management.

COACHING EXPERIENCE
University of Memphis
2007-08: Graduate Assistant
Oklahoma State University
2009: Quality Control
University of Southern Miss
2010: Offensive Graduate Assistant
2011: Wide Receivers
University of North Carolina
2012-13: Tight Ends/Recruiting Coordinator
Arkansas State University
2014-15: Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
University of Maryland
2016-17: Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
Florida State University
2018: Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
University of Massachusetts
2019-21: Head Coach

BOWL EXPERIENCE
Middle Tennessee State University
2006: Motor City Bowl
University of Memphis
2007: New Orleans Bowl
2008: St. Petersburg Bowl
Oklahoma State University
2009: Cotton Bowl
University of Southern Miss
2010: Beef O’Brady Bowl
2011: Hawai’i Bowl
University of North Carolina
2013: Belk Bowl
Arkansas State University
2014: GoDaddy Bowl
2015: New Orleans Bowl
University of Maryland
2016: Quick Lane Bowl

PLAYING EXPERIENCE
Middle Tennessee State University
2002-06: Wide Receiver