Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
The Indiana football coaching staff will remain intact for the second year in a row for the first time in head coach Kevin Wilson's tenure. However, there was a shake up in responsibilities amongst the staff. Wilson, who is probably coaching for his job in 2015 has combined the responsibilities of cornerbacks coach Brandon Shelby and safeties coach Noah Joseph. They will no both be co-secondary coaches.
Shelby has been on Wilson's staff at IU since 2011 as the cornerbacks coach. His ties to Wilson go back to his playing career as a defensive back at Oklahoma from 2001-04. He also spent time as a coach at Oklahoma (2006), Arizona (2007), San Diego (2008), Portland State (2009), and Lousiana-Monroe (2010). As a unit the Hoosier cornerbacks accounted for 143 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, 20 pass break-ups, one interception, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery in 2014.
Noah Joseph joined the Hoosier staff in 2014 as the safeties coach and recruiting coordinator after spending the previous two seasons at North Texas as their safeties coach and recruiting coordinator. Joseph's coaching experience goes back to 2000 when he was a graduate assistant at Drake. He also had stops at Eastern Kentucky (2001), Iowa State (2002), Eastern Illinois (2003-06), and Montana State (2007-11). The safeties as a group accounted for seven of IU's 13 interceptions.
"We're coaching the defensive back collectively as a group because when you're coaching corners, you're on two extremes. And the safety, it's almost like the old center guard
tackle tight end" Wilson said.
"We made them both, and it's been the best, most cohesive offseason we've had because our secondary is now not divided with safeties and corners, but it's working collectively. And being coached by Noah Joseph and Brandon Shelby equally as co-secondary coaches, there's no one in charge. But I think that's made us a more cohesive group and been a great thing for our offseason." he added.
The move came on the heels of a season which saw the Hoosiers defense give up 251.1 yards per game, 11.1 yards per catch, and 24 touchdowns through the air. Indiana did pick off 13 passes, which was almost doubled the number from 2013 when IU intercepted just seven passes.
The decision to combine duties and making the secondary one unit makes sense. It should allow the young, inexperienced Hoosier players to grow together and improve communication. Even if Kevin Wilson will not admit it, he is coaching for his job and this may be the best way to drastically improve the pass defense.