UPDATE: Indiana confirmed earlier reports that Deland McCullough would be their next associate head coach and running backs coach in a release on Monday afternoon. McCullough commented on his return to Bloomington.
“The opportunity to return to IU in this role is very special to me and my family for a host of reasons,” McCullough said in the release. “Coach Allen has done an amazing job of galvanizing and advancing the program’s culture, which has been displayed by success on the field. I welcome the challenges and glory of being a part of helping Indiana Football win championships. I have been fortunate to have won a championship on the ultimate stage in the NFL, and I know what it looks like and how it feels. I believe that Indiana University is primed to not only CHASE, but to capture championships in football, and I can’t wait to contribute.”
IU head coach Tom Allen served as Indiana’s defensive coordinator on the same staff as McCullough in 2016. Allen also commented on McCullough’s return.
“I could not be happier to welcome Deland, his wife Darnell, and the McCullough family back home to Bloomington,” Allen said. “Deland’s a first-class person that has gone on to do great things in the NFL. He has won a Super Bowl, worked with a Hall of Fame coach and helped develop some of the most dynamic players and offenses in football. I cannot wait to bring his winning mindset to our program.”
The original report follows.
John Brice of the Football Scoop reported Monday that Kansas City Chiefs running backs coach Deland McCullough is close to a deal that would bring him back to Indiana to fill the running backs coach vacancy opened when Mike Hart returned to his alma mater Michigan. McCullough is expected to be named associate head coach according to the report.
McCullough, who starred at running back at Miami (Ohio) and spent a season with the Cincinnati Bengals in 1996, was on Indiana’s staff from 2011 to 2016 under Kevin Wilson and was still part of the staff when Indiana coach Tom Allen was hired as defensive coordinator. When Wilson was fired and Allen stayed on as head coach, McCullough left to coach a season at Southern California, then joined the Chiefs staff in 2018. The Chiefs advanced to at least the AFC Championship game in all three of his seasons, winning Super Bowl LIV and losing Super Bowl LV to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday night.
McCullough’s son Dasan is a 4-star Ohio State commit in the class of 2022. The 6-foot-5 and 220 pound Dasan is ranked the No. 54 overall player in the class of 2022 and the No. 6 athlete. He attends Blue Valley North High School in Overland Park, Kansas and committed to the Buckeyes in August.
During his first stint at IU, McCullough coached future NFL running backs Tevin Coleman, Jordan Howard and Stephen Houston. Indiana set a program single-season record with 3,163 rushing yards and averaged 263.6 rushing yards per game (9th nationally, 3rd in the Big Ten) in 2014.
McCullough would be the second staff member IU pulled from the NFL ranks in as many years. Strength and conditioning coach Aaron Wellman came to Indiana from the New York Giants in March.
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