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INDIANA UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
December 1, 2016
FRED GLASS: Good evening, everyone, thank you for being here on fairly short notice. It's much appreciated. I also apologize for not having been very responsive today to some of your inquiries. I try to be pretty responsive, as I think most of you know, but it was a very busy day, and a very challenging day. And, again, I apologize for not having gotten back to you.
This morning, at 8:30, I met with Kevin Wilson in his office for a continuation of a discussion we've been having for a few weeks, and he and I concluded that the right outcome was for him to separate from Indiana University, and I accepted later today effective today his resignation based on the philosophical differences that we have regarding the leadership of the Indiana University football program.
I want to emphasize that this doesn't have anything to do with the achievements of the football team on the field. I continue to believe we're very much going in the right direction. I very much believe we have the right trajectory, and I think Kevin Wilson deserves great credit for that and for his many contributions to Indiana University football.
I also want to note these issues aren't only not about the quality of the football team but there are no NCAA compliance issues or any such issues as part of these matters.
After concluding that we needed to part ways, Coach Wilson and Indiana University, I turned my attention to who would be the best person to keep up the momentum and lead us to another level. I want to emphasize that those were separate determinations; that the potential availability of Coach Allen did not impact the decision-making with regard to Kevin separating from IU. That decision was made separately. And if Coach Allen had not been here or had not been willing to take on this new role, then we would be in a national search.
In fact, I didn't talk to Coach Allen about this until after the meeting this morning, which is part of the reason why you might understand it's been such a busy day, doing an awful lot.
So I guess you guys would say that may be burying the lead of what we're doing here, but I'm very pleased that Tom Allen has agreed to be the next permanent head coach of Indiana University football. I'm thrilled that he's doing that. A 24-year coach, deep Indiana ties, very connected to the Indiana high school football community. He's seen it on the highest level. He's been a part of dramatic turnarounds in defense, first -- well, recently at Ole Miss and also at University of South Florida, and then here at Indiana with one of the biggest turnarounds of a defense in the nation, if not the biggest.
I think Tom not only is a great scheme person and so forth on defense, but he is a leader of men that I think can translate and extend beyond on to the whole program. He is demanding and has a very high standard that is not demeaning. He cares about his players, and they care back, which I think was in full demonstration recently when he just met with the football team and was introduced for the first time as the head football coach.
So as disappointing and challenging and sad as the separation is with Coach Wilson and his resignation, I am elated and thrilled and optimistic about the future tenure under Coach Allen.
What I'm going to do, if it's okay, is go ahead and turn it over to Tom to say some words, and then I will answer as best I can every question that everybody has. But I think it would be better to give him the opportunity to address you all before we engage in the Q&A.
So, Tom, welcome to Indiana University as the head football coach. We're thrilled to have you here.
TOM ALLEN: Thank you. Appreciate that, Mr. Glass, and just want to take this time to address everyone here. Just want to say 46 years ago I was born in Rensselaer, Indiana, into the home of a high school football coach and a loving family. I was raised a Hoosier. I remember watching Coach Mallory's teams play, respected the way he did it, grew to know his boys as great coaches in this country. Obviously raised a Hoosier basketball fan, like most people in this state, especially when Steve Alford from my hometown came here and eventually led the Hoosiers to a 1987 National Championship.
I come before you humbly, blessed and extremely excited, although with mixed emotions, at this opportunity. I'd like for my wife to stand, please. Tracy, she's here with us tonight, and our youngest daughter, Brittney. She's a sophomore at Bloomington South here in town. We also have a son that's a senior. We made the tough decision to leave him in Florida for his senior year. It was the best decision for him. Tough on Mom and Dad. But he plays tomorrow night in the state semifinals for the Panthers and going to have the opportunity to see him play for the first time tomorrow in his senior year.
Also have a daughter, Hannah, who is a sophomore at Samford University in Birmingham, studying biochemistry. Very proud of her and the work ethic that she has.
I know I mentioned my wife, but my faith and my family are the two most important things to me, and I would not be here today without her love and unbelievable support. All the moves, some of them risky moves, leaving Ben Davis ten years ago to get my foot in the door in college football, and she's been right by my side the whole way. I love her dearly and appreciate everything that she's done.
Also, I live my life by this principle: That I'm going to work like it depends on me; I'm going to pray like it depends on God.
And my parents are here with me tonight. Tom and Jan Allen, would you please stand. And I learned both of those things from my parents. My dad was my high school football coach. A very special man to me. The IU administration has given me an amazing opportunity. President McRobbie, I thank you. Fred Glass, thank you for believing in me.
It's hard to believe. This day has been an absolute whirlwind. Unbelievable. But I do know this: In the year that I've been here, it became very, very obvious to me of Fred's commitment to this football program, to Indiana athletics, to the facility upgrades that we've seen, the facility upgrades that we're about to see, and his passion for the student-athletes at our great university.
I obviously am only here because of many, many people. I thank the players of South Florida that believed and played their tails off, which gave me this opportunity here. I think of Dick Dullaghan, Ben Davis, saw something in me and hired me, a legend in his state, and I owe a lot to him.
I think of Chris Creighton, who is doing an amazing job at Eastern Michigan, taking them to a bowl game for the first time since 1987. He hired me at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, right from BD. He gave me a chance to coach college ball when not many would, and I will always be indebted to him for that. Hugh Freeze. Gave me my first college defensive coordinators job. He believed in me, too. So much that he took me with him when he went on to Arkansas State and then on to Ole Miss.
You never forget the people that believed in you.
And then Willie Taggart, I had never coordinated at the Division I level. That was a fact. But he saw something and he believed in me, too. Then Kevin Wilson, doing what we were able to do down there in South Florida, got a phone call from him.
Transitions in this profession are hard under any circumstances, let alone this. My heart breaks for him. I never expected for this to happen. However, he believed in me and he gave me a charge when I came here to be the head coach of the defense, to change the culture in that side of the ball, and that's what we did. These players believed. They play with amazing passion and toughness, and they're relentless. I was so proud of the way they competed every single week in a very difficult schedule.
I wish Kevin Wilson nothing but the best.
Indiana high school coaches, special group of men. I was one for ten years. My dad was one for a long, long time. They're the heart and soul of this great state and our program. I appreciate all that they do. I understand what they go through, the challenges that they have, their job of taking young men and helping them figure out life.
So those coaches are always welcome here at Indiana University. I hope they're here as much as I was when I was a high school coach, watching practice, talking ball, learning, growing together.
I'll be very visible in this state and want to ensure that we do a tremendous job recruiting Indiana and keeping our best players home. I have a vision to create a culture of accountability, toughness and love. I believe in positive conviction-driven leadership and the power of belief. I challenged our defense to embrace those qualities, and I will challenge our team to do the same.
Our goal as coaches is to capture the hearts and minds of our players. You do that by earning their trust, investing in their lives, caring about them way more as a person than as a player. That takes time, energy, and effort. You want to maximize every young man's talent. We're going to push them. As I will tell them: I will push you, but I can't pull you, because if I have to pull you, that means you're resisting.
It's our job to find young men in this country that want to be pushed; that want to be great; that want to come to this great university and get a world-class education and play in the best conference in college football and have a chance to be special on Saturdays.
Our immediate goal is to prepare for our bowl game. We're going to keep our staff intact, adjust guys around to make sure we have everything covered for this bowl game, and attack it with the energy and passion, the only way I know how.
We have a great staff of coaches that have worked extremely hard. I've spoken to each one of them already today. I have a lot of respect for what they do, and I just challenge each one of them. We're going to roll our sleeves up, we're going to pull together, and we're going to go to work.
Recruits, I was in a home at this time yesterday, thought I was going to be in another home at this time tonight. Our whole staff, except for me, is out recruiting right now. Selling the vision of this program that I so strongly believe in. I can't wait to get back on the road this time as the head coach, to get with parents, the decision-makers, recruit them harder than we recruit the recruits sometimes. It's an easy sell, because we're part of a great university. Get them on campus and see how beautiful this place is. Our facilities are second to none and only going to get better.
I'm excited about the future of our program. Offensively we've been one of the best in the Big Ten since 2012. My challenge to them in the bowl game is to protect the football. It's precious. Run the football, that's how you win. Score in the red zone, that's my challenge.
Defensively, it ain't going to change. We've established a standard. We're only going to get better.
Special teams must improve. I was special teams coordinator at Ole Miss for three years. I fully understand the importance of that phase of the game.
My goal for this program is to break through in 2017. We've been close. I joked about it in my last press conference. I'm tired of getting text messages from my buddies telling me how hard we play, how close we are. Those things are true. It's time to break through.
Thank you all for being here. I am very blessed to be the head coach of the Indiana University football program. Thank you.
FRED GLASS: Thanks, Tom. And we'll be happy to take questions and answer them as best as possible.
Q. Fred, to the extent that you're willing to do so, could you expand upon the philosophical differences that came to bear? And Mark Schlabach of ESPN had a report that several players were interviewed and there was talk about the way their injuries were handled. Can you expand upon that?
FRED GLASS: Yeah, taking the first part first. There is no smoking gun or single precipitating event that led to where we are today. I think it's really a realization by myself and Kevin that we're just not on the same page about some what I view as key ways how the program needs to be led. So we've talked about those and put them in a basket to call philosophical differences.
I understand there's been a lot of back and forth with former players about those sorts of things in the Twitter-verse. I'll just tell you that we don't have any outstanding claims of medical issues. I have complete confidence that the medical care has been outstanding by our really terrific athletic training staff and medical staff.
And I do think -- I understand that the philosophical differences may be an unsatisfying meal full of empty calories, perhaps, but I think from the institution's perspective and the football team's perspective and Kevin Wilson's perspective and our ability to move forward to have an agreed, mutual separation based on his resignation is highly desirable. Frankly, I'm pleased that we were able to get that accomplished today.
Q. Once again, following up on the philosophical differences, you extended him in January for six years. Were some of these issues already percolating then? Did that make that decision tougher at that point? Why did you go ahead and decide to make it a six-year extension?
FRED GLASS: Yeah, I think it's fair to say that none of the philosophical differences that have really more recently presented themselves were anything particularly new. I felt like we had worked through most of those, and I very much felt that we had worked through those when we went into discussions about an extension.
I think like in a lot of relationships there's been some give and take, and some of that in this one has played itself out publicly.
But I felt very confident that going into the extension Kevin and I were on the same page, there weren't the leadership issues that led me to my most recent concern, and that the issues we had had been successfully put behind us.
More recently, it came to my attention that those differences in leadership approach were maybe back. And, again, it wasn't a precipitating event but the accumulation of the realization that we weren't on the same page and a lack of confidence by me that we could get and stay on the same page.
Q. To follow up, was there any point where the department was seeking to speak to former athletes about any part of their Indiana University football experience? Were there current or former athletes in specific ways, not something broader, but specific topics that you wanted to broach with current or former student-athletes of the football program?
FRED GLASS: Yeah, I think it's fair to acknowledge that as a result of some of the more recent concerns, we had some outside people help us take a hard look at where we are with some concerns that had been raised.
But, again, I know this issue about medical has come out, and part of the reason I can speak so confidently that I don't believe we have any medical issues, and, in fact, our medical care has been robust and appropriate, is because the external group found that to be the case.
Q. Did your separation agreement with Kevin involve any kind of confidentiality about why you can't give us any more details, A, and, B, is he gone for -- since he's not fired, maybe for cause is not the right word, but how much do you owe him, if any, on his contract?
FRED GLASS: Right. Well, the basis for the separation is Kevin's resignation. And I appreciate his recognition; that that's the best way, I think, to approach the separation.
Again, I met with him at 8:30 this morning, and I think it's a testament to his commitment to Indiana University and Indiana University football going forward that he approached this in that way.
To answer your specific question, we hadn't agreed -- as part of the agreement, we agreed that we'd pay him one year's base salary, which is $542,000, payable as if he were here and employed over the course of the next year. So it's not a lump-sum payment. It's as if he was here on the payroll at the $542,000 rate. That does not -- I think significantly, that does not include the requirement that he'd mitigate and set off that salary.
So for the uninitiated here, if we had fired him without cause, for example, he would be entitled to $542,000 every year for the next five years. But if he got another job, that money from his new job would set off to dollar for dollar reduce our requirement to him.
So significantly this one year of $542,000 doesn't have that setoff. So if he were employed in a new position, say, in excess of that, then this is money he'll keep, as opposed to under the agreement for without cause he wouldn't.
And I think that's significant because I think Kevin has a lot to offer. He's done some very good things here, and my expectation is that he'll be probably gobbled up by somebody that is interested in someone with his skillset, which is very significant.
And I've got no reason to say that because if he was under a without cause and I really wanted him to get another job so they'd be paying him instead of me, then what I just said might be suspect. But we're paying him that one year regardless of whether he gets another job.
So I do think Kevin made a lot of really great contributions here. I think this is a better job for him having been here. I think he will do well as he goes forward, and I don't think there is any reason why he couldn't.
As things tend to happen sometimes, this thing ran its course. Again, not a smoking gun, not a precipitating event, but a point in time where the realization was I just don't think he and I were on the same page.
Q. Can you talk about the terms of Tom's new agreement in terms of years, salary, that type of stuff?
FRED GLASS: Yeah, as you might imagine, since the first time he and I talked about it was about ten o'clock this morning, we don't have all the details worked out. But it will be a six-year contract. It will be at a competitive pay level in the Big Ten. We're not here to not be competitive in that regard. Once the contract is final, we'll make that public. But it would be premature now because we don't have all the contractual terms finalized.
Q. What are the philosophical differences? And when you had outside counsel have conversations with former athletes, did those athletes make any claims of improper decisions by Kevin Wilson related to trainers' advice or medical advice?
FRED GLASS: First of all, again, the philosophical differences is a basket into which we've placed really our sort of disagreements on a variety of issues, which I would characterize as related to leadership. It's certainly not related to related to football. Because even if I had the ability to be an in-depth analyst, which I don't, I don't talk to him about why did you go for it or not go for it or all that stuff.
So I should emphasize it's not about the football part, because I don't know anything about that, really. It's about the leadership part, which I'd like to think I do know something about that. I'm not going to get into details and say: Yeah, that; not that. And I get it that that's probably not particularly satisfactory to you, but that's where we are and that's part of having come to an agreement to move on.
The review was internal. It wasn't with former players. It was primarily with current players, staff, and others. Again, I would emphasize that a major conclusion of that report was that medical care was not compromised in the program at all.
Q. With the assistant coaches, is there a plan for them going forward beyond the bowl? Do you plan on keeping the staff intact?
TOM ALLEN: Yeah, I spoke with all of them this evening, like I mentioned before, and told them the plan right now is to be able to keep our staff intact through the bowl game. Then we'll evaluate everything from top to bottom in our program to ensure that we are putting the best product on the field and the best coaching staff together that allows us to be great on Saturdays.
Q. Obviously you've been the D-coordinator and now you're the head guy. Going forward in the bowl game and after, will you still be the coordinator? Do you plan on trying to promote somebody on the staff? Obviously you have an open position on the staff. Is maybe a GA or somebody going to take over that role to help you out into the bowl game and maybe going forward after that?
TOM ALLEN: Yes, we will be internally filling that position for the bowl game, for sure on the offensive side of the ball. The plan right now is for me to stay in my role as defensive coordinator. That is my strength. That is the area that I know and really want to maximize my strengths as the head coach.
Obviously I'm going to be leaning on our staff. We have a tremendous defensive staff here at Indiana, and those guys, their role will increase as my responsibilities grow. But I fully expect our defensive group to stay intact and for me to be leading them.
Q. Just to clarify. Initially you said an outside group had conducted the review, and a few minutes ago you said it was an internal review. Can you clarify who actually conducted the review?
FRED GLASS: Yeah, I'm sorry. I probably created confusion there. It was an outside law firm conducting the review here internally in the athletic department/football program.
Q. Can you give us some sort of time line as to when this happened? You said there wasn't a triggering event, but there was an outside review. When did this start to bubble up and when did you become aware that maybe these philosophical differences were apparent?
FRED GLASS: Yeah, toward early November it kind of came to my attention that the things that I thought had really been put behind us were bubbling up again. And, again, not a smoking gun, not a precipitating event, but just a concern that at least the things that needed to be approached the way I wanted them to be approached weren't being approached that way.
So that's when we took a closer look at that. Talked to Kevin about it. This morning wasn't the first time he and I talked about it in this latest go-around. Kind of worked through that.
Again, we're confident that no issue -- student-athletes weren't being compromised in any way, which gave us some time to talk about it and work through it. Kevin was very open and accessible and honest, and I think he and I just concluded that it had been a pretty good run.
I think tremendous progress had been made. We could talk about back-to-back bowl games and so forth and so on. We want to get further than that. But when you're trying to turn around Indiana University football, I believe a lot of progress is being made.
Having said that, I think he and I concluded that we weren't on the same page on some things. And that's not necessarily to say who is right. As the athletic director, that's a judgment I have to make. I'm an IU guy. I grew up in Indiana. I went to school at Indiana. My mom went to school at Indiana. My kids went to school at Indiana. I have a senior here at Indiana. And my focus is Indiana.
So what might be okay at other places, what might be okay in an industry isn't necessarily okay here. That doesn't make me right or wrong, but I can tell you that I came at this earnestly and with the best interests of Indiana University at heart. And I'll tell you that I'm proud to be part of an institution that puts doing what it thinks is the right thing ahead of competitive success, and I think we've had competitive success the last couple years in football.
Q. Fred, I don't mean this to sound blunt, but the phrase you've used is leadership issues between you and Kevin, but you've also talked about an external review. If it's sort of a binary thing between you and Kevin, why did you feel the need to have some sort of external review of the situation?
FRED GLASS: Well, I'm not an expert on -- notwithstanding, I don't want to break it to you too hard, but I'm not an expert on everything, so I believe in getting people to help you think through things and analyze things. I do think in my view the core of what we were talking about really boiled down to leadership and how you approach being a leader. I think Kevin and I have some honest disagreements about how you go about that.
Again, I'm not saying I'm right and he's wrong. I'm saying I have to decide. So when we talked about, again, not a precipitating event or a smoking gun but the culmination of us having a divergent view on matters connected with leadership, I think we concluded maturely and appropriately that it's just time to go our separate ways.
Again, I appreciate his contributions and want to give him his due. I think he's made a lot of contributions to our football program, and I earnestly wish him well.
Q. I'm just going back to the timing really quick. I wonder if there was any discussion of Coach Wilson finishing the -- even the bowl game and the season entirely and how maybe even if you knew when you got up this morning that you'd be introducing a new football coach tonight, if it was that sudden or you suspected it, or how today's timing came about?
FRED GLASS: The timing is really independent of the football schedule. It was kind of gathering where we were and talking it through with him and all that. I think it was fortunate that the natural evolution of the conversation enabled us to get through the regular season. That wasn't really a goal, but given that we didn't think anybody was at risk or anything like that, we had some flexibility to, I think, do this the right way -- take our time, be sober, let's really talk about where we are.
But once I concluded that I thought a parting of the ways made sense, then I don't think you wait. I think you move out, and that's what I did.
I woke up this morning knowing what I was going to say to Kevin at 8:30. I didn't know what Tom Allen was going to say to me at 10:00. I didn't sleep very well last night. But I was very pleased that Tom, who I think was very appreciative of what Kevin did for him to bring him here, and I think sort of a reluctant warrior in terms of wanting to come in this way. But it's a little bit of the nature of the business. And I was glad we were able to talk through that and in fairly short order come to an agreement.
I was glad when I went down and talked to the football team, because I wanted them to hear that from me, that we were able to, in addition to sharing the hard news about Kevin -- and I encouraged them to be loyal to Kevin, they came here with Kevin, and to grieve. It's not just loyal to Indiana, for them to be loyal to Kevin. I get all that. And I tried to affirm those appropriate feelings.
But I was glad I was able to introduce the next person and also that that next person is someone known to them and highly respected by them.
This is a tough day and tough circumstances, but I think because of the maturity of Kevin Wilson and Tom Allen and other people involved in this process, it's probably gone as well as it could.
Q. Obviously you made the decision that you wanted Tom Allen to be your head coach instead of doing a national search. Kind of take us through your thought process on what you saw in Tom that made you make that decision.
FRED GLASS: Right. First of all, I try to be very disciplined to separate those issues. The decision regarding Kevin needed to be made independent of what next because you can't make the wrong decision because you're afraid of who is next, and you can't make a decision because you're eager about who is next.
So I think I made that decision independently, and Kevin and I had a good conversation about that and reached that. I didn't talk to Tom until after I talked to Kevin, because I thought that was the most appropriate thing, and that was a little scary. But sometimes the best person is a person in your midst. Like good to great. It's not necessarily the flashy guy over here at this company. It's the person in the place next to you.
I was sort of mindful of Butler hiring Brad Stevens, you know. Right now that's a no-brainer. But here's a guy who was a volunteer assistant, unpaid. And when Barry Collier said Brad Stevens, everybody said: Who? But Barry Collier had the fortitude to pluck somebody out of obscurity because he had seen him every day and knew that quality, which has been confirmed in a variety of ways.
So not to suggest that Tom was like an unpaid videographer or something, but may not have been the first person for people maybe nationally to think of. But he was for me. Because I helped recruit him because Kevin found him and wanted him to be defensive coordinator. I walked many laps around my dining room table talking to Tom about our commitment to football and what we were looking for, and I got to know him as a man then.
I've seen him work. I've seen the way the kids react to him. Yeah, it's about scheme and all that, but it's really about relationships. He is a leader of men, which I think will transcend beyond the defense across this team and maybe the missing link, maybe the secret sauce to get us from being close to maybe getting over the hump a little more often.
So I was very impressed with him in his role. As I thought about what we wanted to do next, he is the number one person that I would want to do this role. And the fact that he was already here is a bonus. The fact that, and I've often said to you and a lot of other people in here, I think the two keys to getting Indiana football where we want it to be are making investments and continuity. And we've been making investments. We're going to make more investments. We're getting ready to spend $53 million on our football stadium, and Tom has my commitment to continue to make the investments he thinks are prudent to get the people and facilities we need.
And, secondly, continuity. We can take a little step back on that with Kevin, but I think we step right in with Tom, and the ability to maintain most of the staff and the kids to know who they're dealing with I think is a big plus, too.
Q: Zander talked about concussions last weekend and saying that he was done playing after the bowl game, but Kevin bragged about saying he would ask him if he wanted to play anyway. It seemed to come from the â€˜meat headâ€™ school of coaching and I was wondering how did that sit with you?
FRED GLASS: I didnâ€™t really catch all of that. I did think that Zander, who I love, said a little flippantly â€˜Hey, I need by brain.â€™ And I think that took on a life of its own nationally. I donâ€™t think her particularly meant that and he doesnâ€™t have any history with that or medical issues that I know of.
Q: But Kevinâ€™s reaction that heâ€™s had concussions but I want him to keep playing anywayâ€¦
FRED GLASS: I didnâ€™t hear that exactly so Iâ€™m not going to comment on that. I will say that I think Kevin is very sensitive to concussion issues. Itâ€™s not a secret that heâ€™s had them in his own family with his son, he has said that publicly. And I think Kevin would quite challenge anyone that would suggest that heâ€™s not sensitive about those issues.
Having said that, Kevin is kind of a â€˜shoot from the hipâ€™ kind of person and sometimes he says things that people might interpret another way.
Q: Are you comfortable with how playersâ€™ health issues have been handled properly?
TOM ALLEN: I think that in our culture of athletic injuries, I defer to the trainers. Thatâ€™s what they got their degrees in, they donâ€™t tell me how to run the defense and I donâ€™t tell them how to treat injuries. Thatâ€™s my approach to that, thatâ€™s my philosophy on that and thatâ€™s the way he (Kevin Wilson) handled it.
Q: On if Allenâ€™s success in rebuilding the Indiana defense contributed to the decision to make a coaching change.
FRED GLASS: No, I think I was disciplined to focus on those issues with Kevin independent of whatâ€™s next.
Q: On the name of the firm that conducted the external investigation and the firmâ€™s findings.
FRED GLASS: Iâ€™m not going to comment on any of the conclusions or recommendations, thatâ€™s part of the reason that you have somebody come in and give a no-holds-barred analysis. It was Taft Law Firm, which is a nationally recognized law firm out of the Indianapolis office.
Q: Coach Allen, have you reached out to the recruits and what are your plans regarding recruiting in the near future until Signing Day?
TOM ALLEN: Regarding this weekend itâ€™s going to be business as usual, no change in the schedule. Iâ€™ve already had that discussion with our recruiting staff. Regarding the recruits, I have not spoken with them, this has obviously been a whirlwind of a day, but that will happen tonight. So as soon as we are done with all of this, I will be on the phone talking to our committed guys, talking to our recruits and reassuring them on the future of our program.
Q: Player-wise, who do you turn to for leadership to make this transition as easy as it can be?
TOM ALLEN: Well, I think you have leaders selected for a reason and those leaders, Marcus Oliver and Dan Feeney, as I talked to him a few minutes ago before I came up here. I reminded both of them that we are going to need their leadership at this time, you know weâ€™re a family and when familyâ€™s hurt you have to pull together. I donâ€™t expect anything different from that so I think the guys that lead our team and have done so all season long will continue to do so and we need them to rise up and be the young men that I know that they are.
Q: Tom, I assume you had no idea this was happening until 10:00 a.m. this morning?
TOM ALLEN: I didnâ€™t talk to Fred (Glass) until this morning.
Q: When he told you this this morning, what did you do?
TOM ALLEN: Quick prayer. Didnâ€™t have a lot of time. It was a crazy day, a lot of emotion a lot of things being thrown at you. Very, very â€“ my first response was heartbroken for Kevin (Wilson) and his family, to be honest with you. I care about people and itâ€™s tough. But the bottom line is that once you get through that, you realize you have a whole team that is counting on you to lead them, to pull together and get a staff together, so you have a lot of emotions that occurred today and we are going to maximize the opportunity that weâ€™ve been given and follow the charge of leading this team.
Q: Do you intend to participate in a bowl game?
FRED GLASS: Let me say to everyone, Nashville, San Francisco, Detroit and Dallas - we are ready, willing and able to move Hoosier nation to your communities.
TOM ALLEN: Let me also add, that in our team meeting today, those boys were chomping at the bit.
Q: On the mood of the team meeting?
TOM ALLEN: It was tough. You have young men that were recruited by Coach Wilson. He believed in them and gave them an opportunity that for some guys they might not have had an equal opportunity. Some guys might have had multiple choices too. The staff that recruited them at that time believed in them. Itâ€™s a powerful thing. It was tough, but I was real with them and talked with them man to man. I tried to be real, genuine and from the heart. I told them how much I loved them and obviously, things that will stay in the room. It was a difficult situation, but at the end of it, I saw a group of guys that came together and leaders rose up and spoke and challenged the group to make it about the guy besides him and to truly manifest the concept of love each other. That is what we are all about.
Q: On what a successful football program looks like:
TOM ALLEN: I think for me, the first goal and objectives is to graduate all of our players. That to me is success. Number two, I want to create a culture that allows them to develop through character, through mentoring, to become the young men I believe they were created to be. Number three, I believe we are going to be a football program that competes for championships. We arguably play in the best divisions in college football. This year our conference is number one in country in regards to teams competing for the playoffs. We have a tremendous challenge and opportunity to be a part of that. I embrace that. Just like my experience coaching in the SEC, when you go through that schedule and you do what you aim to do and prepare to do, and the success that you have allows you to be with the best in the country. Thatâ€™s how I feel coaching in the Big Ten East.
Q: One more thing on philosophy, how is Tomâ€™s philosophy different from the differences you had with Kevin?
FRED GLASS: That is a good way to get at it Terry. I appreciate it. Let me say it positively about Tom, not necessarily in contrast with Kevin. One of the things that I think they have in common is they are demanding. They have a very high standard out on the field. Tom does not like it when it is not right. He lets the guys know about it. I do not think that we are taking one step back in terms of a standard or being demanding on the kids. He certainly does it in a way that is not demeaning or personal. Tom coaches the play, not the player. He critiques the action not the player. Again, I am not trying to draw distinctions, but that is important to me. Bill Polian, who I am fortunate to be friends with, told me early on that the way coaches are successful is that number one, the kids know they care about them and two, the coaches can make them better. It is very clear to me with the defense, it has not been scheme and certainly has not been personnel because we lost some pros, and you could argue that our personnel was as good or better last year, but I think that the difference is how much the players knew that Tom Allen cared about them. They also knew he had the where-with-all to make them better. I think that what Tom Allen has in spades are those two critical elements of success that the players know he cares about them and they know he can make them better.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports