When football starts in September, the sidelines will feature four new head coaches making their Big Ten debuts. Two of the biggest powers in the Big Ten will feature new coaches this season while the other two schools will look for their new coaches to revive their football programs.
For the first time since 1929 both Ohio State and Michigan will have new coaches in the same year. Indiana will be starting the 2011 season with their 28th coach in the school history, and Minnesota will begin the season with their 31stcoach in school history.
Here is how the four new coaches in the Big Ten got their new coaching jobs.
Brady Hoke (Michigan)
Hoke was a long time assistant at Michigan before he became a head coach. He was an assistant coach at Michigan from 1995-2002, before he left to become the head coach at Ball State. Hoke coached at Ball State for six seasons, and in his last season (2008) he led the Cardinals to a 12-1 season. After that season, Hoke would take the San Diego State heading job and would coach there for two seasons until 2010. His last season coaching the Aztecs had a 9-4 record and won the Poinsettia Bowl.
Hoke is off to a good start at Michigan, already assembling one of top recruiting classes for 2012.
Kevin Wilson (Indiana)
Wilson was co-offensive coordinator at Oklahoma from 2002-2010 and was regarded as one of the top assistant coaches in all of college football. He was two-time finalist for the Frank Broyles Award given to college football’s top assistant coach. In 2008, Wilson won the award when the Sooners went to the BCS National Championship. While at Oklahoma he was one of the main reasons that the Sooners consistently had great offenses.
Wilson should be able to get his offense off to a good start with standout wide receiver Demarlo Belcher as a weapon.
Jerry Kill (Minnesota)
Kill has been a head coach since 1994 when he became the head coach at Saginaw Valley State. Before landing the head coaching job at Minnesota, Kill was the head coach at Northern Illinois for three seasons. During his brief stay at Northern Illinois, Kill led the Huskies to three straight bowl games. In his last season at Northern Illinois, the Huskies won the MAC West Division Title and finished the season with 10 wins.
Many people questioned the hiring of Kill but he has never had a losing record at any of his previous heading coaching stops.
Luke Fickell (Ohio State)
Fickell had been named the interim head coach for Jim Tressel while he served his five game suspension for violating NCAA rules. After Tressel’s resignation, Fickell was quickly named the head coach of the Buckeye football team. Fickell played for the Buckeyes during the 1990’s and was a member of the 1997 Rose Bowl Championship team. Fickell became graduate assistant in 1999 for Ohio State for one season before being named the defensive line coach at Akron. It wouldn’t take long for Fickell to return to Ohio State and in 2002 he rejoined the Buckeye coaching staff as a special team’s coordinator.
Fickell will have a very difficult job the next few seasons but if he can ride out the storm, it shouldn’t take long to get Ohio State back to the top of the Big Ten.
* – Brady Hoke photo credit: via Erick Smith, USA TODAY