Wilson, who has served as OU's offensive coordinator since 2006, on Stoops staff since 2002, said at his introductory press conference Tuesday afternoon in Bloomington, Ind., that he realizes the importance of the Fiesta Bowl since the Sooners have lost five consecutive BCS bowl games.
"The real deal for me with the bowl is truly what coach Stoops feels is best for Oklahoma," Wilson said. "We're getting some monkeys off our back down there. We couldn't win on the road. We couldn't win tough games. We couldn't come from behind. Now we've done that. Now we've got a thing we can't win a BCS game."
In a statement, Stoops said he will address filling the offensive coordinator vacancy and the coaching arrangement for the upcoming Fiesta Bowl later this week or the first part of next week.
"We want to thank Kevin for his role in helping our program win six of the seven Big 12 Championships we've accumulated over the last 12 seasons," Stoops said. "His attention to detail, innovation and ability to develop players to their fullest ability have helped us remain a strong program.
"Our offenses have been effective because they're multiple and dynamic, and yet loyal to the basic football principles of being physical and fundamentally sound. By going to Indiana, Kevin returns to a region of the country and a conference that he knows very well. He'll have a solid plan for the football program."
Wilson, 49, has ties to the Big Ten, having coached two seasons at Northwestern.
It's a major challenge. Indiana has played in only one bowl game since 1995. The Hoosiers finished 5-7 this season and have gone 1-7 in the Big Ten each of the past three seasons.
Stating he's confident he can recruit Indiana and surrounding states, Wilson was asked why he's confident he can have success in his first head coaching job at a program that's struggled.
"I didn't come here on a hope or a whim," Wilson said. "We've got a process on how to prepare for 12 months for those 12 opportunities, hopefully get 13 (games) and hopefully 14. I think it's a process that's proven and will win."
Wilson said he's uncertain whether he will call plays from the sideline and eluded he's entertained other head coaching opportunities in the past but felt Indiana was the type of job he's been holding out for.
"I think it's time," Wilson said. "It's been time. It just hasn't been the right place. For years it's been time. My job was so good it was hard to leave because you don't walk from Oklahoma for some places. It's a tremendous job, a great place to live and great people to work for and great players you coach.
"It's a special, special place. For me to leave it was tough. I was looking for right place, a place I felt I could win, a place that would be a tremendous challenge but also a great place for our family to live."
One of several names given to him by coaching sports consultant Chuck Neinas, Indiana athletic director Fred Glass met briefly with Wilson Friday in Norman. Glass attended the Big 12 title game Saturday in Arlington, Texas. Talks began in earnest on Sunday. They flew to Bloomington, Ind. on Monday.
"You don't hire resumes. I had to find out whether I thought he had it," Glass said. "It was clear to me he had "it" almost as soon as I rode over with him in his car to his house, that I felt he had "it." I spent time with his wife, his dogs and his cat. I felt comfortable in a real live environment of a home."
Wilson showed his sense of humor when asked what it feels like to still have to play Nebraska.
Knowing the Cornhuskers aren't on IU's schedule the next two years, Wilson quipped: "We could play them in the championship game if they're good enough to win their division."