AP Source: Maiden alumnus, Indiana coach Wilson out after 6 seasons

AP Sports Writer

Indiana coach Kevin Wilson is out after six seasons.

The Hoosiers will announce the coaching change Thursday evening, a person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the school had not disclosed details. A news conference was scheduled for 6 p.m. for what Indiana said was a "major announcement" about the football program.

Wilson went 26-47 over six seasons. He was the longest-tenured coach since Bill Mallory, the school's career leader in wins, departed after the 1996 season. Wilson's teams had shown steady improvement and earned their first back-to-back bowl bids last weekend when the Hoosiers defeated rival Purdue for a school-record tying fourth consecutive year.

The timing of the decision is odd.

In January, Wilson agreed to a six-year contract extension worth $15.3 million after leading the Hoosiers to their first bowl appearance since 2007. This year, Indiana earned its first back-to-back bowl trips since 1990 and 1991. And with many key offensive players and the heart of an improved defense all expected to return in 2017, the future looked bright.

But the move also came amid reports that Wilson pushed players to return quickly from injuries.

After Saturday's 26-24 victory over Purdue, backup quarterback Zander Diamont told reporters he was not going to return for his final season of eligibility because he would graduate over the summer and had a history of concussions. He did not say anything about Wilson asking him to play through the injuries.

Wilson acknowledged he was surprised by Diamont's decision and said he had double-checked with Diamont to see if that's really what he wanted to do.

Wilson was an offensive assistant at Oklahoma from 2002-10, working with Bob Stoops to create some of the most explosive offenses in college football. He and the Sooners went to 10 consecutive bowls, including three national championship games, and the 2008 offense under his guidance set NCAA records by scoring at least 60 points in five straight games and 716 total points in all.

He was considered a red-hot hire, brought in to replace Bill Lynch, and he didn't disappoint. Hs aggressive, wide-open offense injected excitement into a floundering program that was losing fans.

Over his first three seasons, things did not go smoothly. But by Wilson's fourth season, there were signs of progress and he backed it up with back-to-back 6-6 seasons that included being consistently competitive against the likes of Ohio State and Michigan.

The move leaves both Purdue and Indiana with vacancies at the head coaching position. The Boilermakers fired Darrell Hazell during the season.