Ohio State’s offensive coordinator is leaving to become a head coach.
After six seasons with the Buckeyes, Ohio State offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson agreed to a deal to become Tulsa’s head coach on Monday.
Tulsa officially announced the hire on Monday night, and Wilson was formally introduced as Tulsa’s new head coach during a Tuesday afternoon press conference. He confirmed during his press conference that he will remain with the Buckeyes for their upcoming College Football Playoff game against Georgia on Dec. 31 and in the national championship should OSU advance.
Wilson arrived at Ohio State in 2017 after serving as Indiana's head coach from 2011-2016 and has since turned in many prolific offensive seasons while also coaching the Buckeyes' tight ends.
This season, Ohio State sits sixth in total offense (492.7 yards per game) and second in scoring offense (44.5 points per game).
Wilson has spent plenty of time in Oklahoma, coaching the Sooners for nine seasons from 2002 to 2010. With the Sooners, he was an offensive coordinator, an offensive line coach and a tight ends and fullbacks coach.
His son, Toby Wilson, is a sophomore offensive lineman for the Buckeyes.
There are several candidates on Ohio State’s staff to potentially be elevated to offensive coordinator in Wilson’s place. Wide receivers coach Brian Hartline, who currently holds the title of passing game coordinator, may be the top candidate in line for a promotion after he opted to stay at Ohio State following an interview for Cincinnati’s head coaching job. Offensive line coach Justin Frye, who holds the title of associate head coach, was the offensive coordinator at UCLA before he joined Ohio State’s staff this year. Running backs coach Tony Alford also holds the title of run game coordinator.
If the Buckeyes choose to promote from within to replace Wilson’s spot among its 10 full-time assistant coaches, the most likely candidate to take that spot would be longtime support staffer Keenan Bailey, who has worked with Ohio State’s offense since 2016 and spent time working with the tight ends this offseason, with Cade Stover specifically crediting Bailey with helping him developing as a pass-catcher this year.
“Keenan is probably the best-held secret in this whole entire place,” Stover said in August. “I love talking to that dude, he helps me so much and he's just a very, very smart mind with football.”
Of course, it’s also possible Ohio State could bring in a new offensive coordinator and/or tight ends coach from outside the program – particularly if Ryan Day decides it’s time to give up play-calling duties going into his fifth season as the Buckeyes’ head coach.