As the 2017 college football season rapidly approaches, I am in the category of Ohio State fans who are eagerly anticipating the impact Kevin Wilson will have upon the Ohio State offense.
From Wilson’s previous stops at Miami University, Northwestern, Oklahoma, and Indiana, his name has become well-known and well-respected throughout college football for his creative play calling and diversified offensive schemes. Players such as Adrian Peterson, Sam Bradford, DeMarco Murray, and Tevin Coleman are among the many who thrived under Kevin Wilson’s tutelage.
As excited as I am about the possibilities of what Wilson can do with the full arsenal of talent on hand at Ohio State, it made me stop and think about previous Ohio State’s offensive coordinators throughout the years. I have been an Ohio State fan all my life, and I have a question – is Kevin Wilson the biggest ‘name’ offensive coordinator in the program’s history?
For example, when I think back to the Earle Bruce years, the offensive coordinator throughout most of Coach Bruce’s tenure was Glen Mason. While Mason went onto a head coaching career at Kent State, Kansas, and Minnesota, he was not a high-profile name known throughout college football.
Going forward during the John Cooper years, coaches such as Jim Colletto, Elliot Uzelac, Joe Hollis, Mike Jacobs, and Chuck Stobart were the listed offensive coordinators. The most notable offensive assistant coach during Coach Cooper’s tenure was not the offensive coordinator, but was the quarterback coach largely credited with implementing an explosive offense during the 1995 and 1996 seasons – Walt Harris.
Harris was able to spur Buckeye players such as Bob Hoying, Rickey Dudley, Terry Glenn, and Eddie George into having the best seasons of their careers. Walt Harris had been a former NFL quarterbacks coach, but was not necessarily a ‘name’ coach at the time of his hiring.
Jim Tressel took over in 2001 and named Jim Bollman as his offensive coordinator. Bollman was a constant target of Ohio State fans’ criticism for the entirety of Tressel’s tenure, as Bollman ranked somewhere on the slightly-below-a-war-criminal range in the minds of Buckeye fans.
The reality of it, as any Ohio State fan remembers from Coach Tressel’s years, was that Tressel served as the offensive coordinator, but just did not have that specific title.
And that brings me up to Urban Meyer, and his first offensive coordinator – Tom Herman. While Tom Herman has ascended through the coaching ranks based upon his successful years in Columbus, Herman was greeted with a collective “Who?!?” when Meyer announced his name as offensive coordinator.
So what say you, Ohio State fans? Is Kevin Wilson the highest-profile offensive coordinator hire in Ohio State football history?