BLOOMINGTON -- Tom Allen wants to re-ignite Indiana’s offense and build an attack in his aggressive image.
Enter Mike DeBord, who is set to take over the Hoosiers’ offensive coordinator duties after producing a record-breaking attack while in the same position at Tennessee despite a barrage of injuries that should have made that impossible.
The 60-year-old DeBord will replace Kevin Johns, who was not retained after six seasons with Indiana.
Despite having just two offensive players (quarterback Josh Dobbs and receiver Josh Malone) who started every game this past season, the Volunteers averaged 36.4 points and 443.7 total yards. They set school single-season records with 63 total touchdowns and 473 points. They did that while overcoming seven different offensive line combinations because of all the injuries.
Tennessee was 9-4 this season.
DeBord has strong state of Indiana ties. He was born in Muncie, and graduated from Wes-Del High School. He was a four-year offensive line starter at Manchester College good enough to earn NAIA All-America honors. He earned a master’s degree from Ball State in 1981, and later coached the offensive line there. He built a strong early offensive resume while coaching at Franklin College, Eastern Illinois, Colorado State and Northwestern. He was inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 1995.
DeBord was at Tennessee for two seasons. He previously was the head coach at Central Michigan while current Tennessee coach Butch Jones on his staff from 2000-03, going 12-34.
He also was the offensive coordinator for five years at Michigan, and coached five years in the NFL for Seattle and Chicago. He has more than 30 years of coaching experience.
DeBord’s background should enable him to build an offense that focuses on Allen’s priorities -- a strong running attack, a spread system and plenty of balance and uptempo. Allen took over the IU program in late November after Kevin Wilson's resignation.
“We want to run the ball,” Allen said. “I don’t care what kind of system you have, you want to run the ball. At some point you also have to have the tempo piece. From the defensive side of the ball, I know that’s what gives us trouble.
“It’s not that you go fast all the time, but you have the ability to go fast and change that tempo. That phrase is something that I’ll use quite a bit because I believe in that offensively
“I’m a tempo-spread guy. I believe in that system.
“Ultimately, it’s about what you can do to win games, not have the most yards. It’s how you win as a team. That’s our goal.”
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