BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — After the departure of running backs coach / associate head coach Mike Hart this winter, the Hoosiers looked not only for a replacement, but someone who continued to push the culture of the program and the momentum that Tom Allen has started.

They found their next statement hire with getting Deland McCullough to come back to Indiana University.

McCullough was one of the best when he coached running backs for Indiana from 2011 to 2016. He developed both Tevin Coleman and Jordan Howard, and in consecutive years, had them drafted to the NFL. Both have succeeded in the NFL too. McCullough made Indiana a force in their running game. In 2014, the Hoosiers set their single-season record for 3,163 rushing yards (263.6 ypg) which was 9th nationally. With veteran RBs such as Tim Baldwin Jr. and Sampson James, the Hoosiers are poised to return to big time production in their running game, but in the meantime, McCullough wanted to focus on his family. In a matter of days, three of his four children (Daeh, Dasan, and Deland Jr.) announced their commitment to Indiana to join Deland.

McCullough family, from left to right: Daeh, Dasan, Deland and Diem, Darnell and Deland Jr.: originally courtesy of Darnell McCullough

In mid-April, Daeh committed to the Hoosiers. He was the youngest of the three brothers old enough to commit and is a top-100, 6-2, 195 lb safety from Bloomington South. Prior to his commitment, he told the Hoosiers that they were his number one destination, and just a few days later he ended up committing to play for Indiana.

This past weekend, the eldest of the McCullough children, Deland II, announced he entered the transfer portal and then his commitment to Indiana. The 6-1, 192 defensive back only appeared in three games in two seasons at Miami (OH) which was Deland’s alma mater. He was a true freshman in 2019, but ended up as a redshirt that year. He attended Bloomington North before he followed his dad to California and Kansas.

Source: The Athletic, Adam Murray Photography

Following suit, Dasan flipped his commitment from Ohio State to Indiana and he is the highest rated recruit of the three in their respective years. He is the tallest and biggest of the trio measuring up at 6-5, 220 lbs and also plays safety, but can play multiple positions including linebacker, defensive end, and husky. The top-50 recruit has the ability to lockdown offenses and because of this, saw offers from the nation’s top programs including Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, and Michigan.

Ryan Wallance |, 247Sports

Daeh was briefly considered the highest rated recruit in Indiana history before Dasan flipped to Indiana. All three of the McCullough’s could be on the field at the same time in several years, but all three (along with Deland Sr. on the offensive side) will provide more than just their raw talent and knowledge of football to help the Hoosiers. The commitment of the entire family to the program shows the emphasis of family values and a “LEO” culture.

Per 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong, Dasan said “The chance to play with my brothers is huge! Both of my brothers and be under my dad. I know what it’s like to play with both of them and that’s something that’s huge for me at the next level and a blessing that doesn’t come around a lot.”

The future looks brighter than ever for the Hoosiers despite numerous coaches leaving the program for head coaching opportunities and other coaching opportunities. Coach Tom Allen and McCullough will be the ones leading by example with values of family and caring for your team. Now, athletes and fans across the country are taking note of the LEO culture and are showing more interest than ever in the football program.

Per McCullough, “A level of foundation was laid years ago, and Coach Allen and the rest of the coaching staff have taken and expanded that…Just the culture. LEO is not just a catchphrase. It’s a way of life around here. It’s very evident to me and I’m just glad to be a part of that.”

Cover Photo: Deland McCullough, Twitter

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