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Berry Tramel: Kevin Wilson will be missed at OU

New Indiana coach has thrived in a high-pressure situation as Sooners' offensive coordinator
by Berry Tramel Modified: December 8, 2010 at 1:33 pm •  Published: December 7, 2010
/articleid/3521652/1/pictures/1287489">Photo - Kevin Wilson responds to a question after being introduced as the new Indiana coach. AP photo
Kevin Wilson responds to a question after being introduced as the new Indiana coach. AP photo

I don't know if Wilson can win at Indiana. I don't know if anyone can win at Indiana. But he's as good a choice as any to try. Wilson has the background, having coordinated Northwestern offenses, so he knows how to win with lesser talent against Big Ten behemoths.

And we already know Wilson can handle the heat, because the pressure on the head coach at Indiana is not as great as the pressure on the Oklahoma offensive coordinator.

Wilson thrived under great scrutiny. I would rank him second among Stoops' offensive coordinators, behind only Mike Leach, and even ahead of Long, who was big-time. And if Leach had worked in Norman more than one year, his star would have waned to some degree. An offensive coordinator's popularity never has a long shelf life.

But they get noticed. They get the chance to run their own programs.

OU has had 11 defensive coordinators since the Wilkinson era ended with the firing of Gomer Jones.

Of those 11, only four — Larry Lacewell (Arkansas State), Gary Gibbs (OU), Charlie Sadler (Northern Illinois) and Mike Stoops (Arizona) — became major-college head coaches, although you can't forget Rex Ryan of Jetropolitan fame.

Offensive coordinators at Oklahoma get far more opportunity. Now Kevin Wilson, wildly successful even if oft-criticized, gets his chance at liftoff.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at

Open Mike: Why the Colts love Kevin Wilson Blog: Kevin Wilson should coach the bowl game Carlson: Kevin Wilson was honest to the end
by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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The OU launching pad

Offensive coordinator became a staff position at OU in 1966. Since then, 12 of the 14 coaches who have held that title have gone to become major-college head coaches:

1966: Homer Rice (Cincinnati 1967-68, 9-10-1 record)

1967-72: Barry Switzer (Oklahoma 1973-88, 157-29-4)

1973-83: Galen Hall (Florida 1984-89, 40-18-1)

1984: Mack Brown (Tulane 1985-87, 11-23; North Carolina 1988-97, 69-46-1; Texas 1998-10, 133-34)

1985-89: Jim Donnan (Marshall 1990-95, 64-21; Georgia 1996-00, 40-19)

1990-92: Larry Coker (Miami 2001-06, 60-15)

1993-94: Watson Brown (Alabama-Birmingham 1995-06, 62-74)

1995: Gary Nord (Texas-El Paso 2000-03, 14-34)

1996-97: Dick Winder

1998: Joe Dickinson

1999: Mike Leach (Texas Tech 2000-09, 84-43)

2000-01: Mark Mangino (Kansas 2002-09, 50-48)

2002-05: Chuck Long (San Diego State 2006-08, 9-27)

2006-10: Kevin Wilson (Indiana 2011).


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