NORMAN — Before Kevin Wilson called his first play as Oklahoma’s offensive coordinator in 2006, he faced immediate crisis.
A month before the season opener, Wilson’s starting quarterback was booted off the team, forcing him to move a wide receiver to the position. Later, midway through the same season, his superstar running back went down with a broken collarbone.
But neither of those obstacles, nor having to start a freshman quarterback the following season, have impeded Wilson.
In fact, coach Bob Stoops recently pointed out, Wilson’s ability to adapt is a big reason why the Sooners have averaged more points (41.2 per game) than any other team since Wilson began calling plays three years ago.
"Kevin has been so smart in adapting to our personnel,” said Stoops, who along with athletic director Joe Castiglione rewarded Wilson with a 35-percent raise last month to increase his annual salary to $385,000 and make him one of the highest-paid assistants in the Big 12. "Kevin has so much experience in so many different ways of moving an offense, and he understands it.”
Instead of molding players to fit his scheme, Wilson has been successful in molding his scheme to fit around the strength of his players.
In 2006, with All-America running back Adrian Peterson in the backfield, Wilson employed a run-heavy attack while also utilizing quarterback Paul Thompson’s athleticism by getting him out of the pocket on play-action rollouts.
That year, despite moving Thompson from receiver to quarterback to compensate for the preseason removal of Rhett Bomar, and losing Peterson for half the season due to injury, the Sooners still ranked No.