It has now been three years since Kevin Wilson left Indiana to join Ohio State’s coaching team and shortly after, athletic director Fred Glass chose his replacement, Tom Allen. Ever since then, Fred Glass has not wavered in his support for the previous Indiana defensive coordinator and has even doubled-down on his beliefs by stating that one of the big investments over the next several months will be an extension for Tom Allen.
Most will agree that Coach Allen has taken steps in the right direction for the Hoosier program that has historically not lived up to expectations. He has been able to win games that he is supposed to win, but he has not been able to break through any of the games that we were not supposed to win. Recruitment has improved as we have brought in bigger names and the highest ranked recruit in program history for next year (Rashawn WIlliams whom we have interviewed recently). Also, of note, we have not been able to best Purdue and no bowl invitations in Tom Allen’s tenure thus far.
Tom Allen has not been able to defeat the bigger names in the Big Ten East on the field and he has not been able to surpass their earnings off the field either. Indiana currently pays Coach Allen $400,000 less than the second lowest paid coach in the Big Ten, Rutgers’ coach Chris Ash. It is worth noting that coaches such as Illinois’ Lovie Smith (9-27 overall), and Chris Ash (8-29 overall) are both paid considerably more than Tom Allen despite having considerably less productivity and results.
There are two questions that will need to be answered this season –
- Should Tom Allen have his contract renewed?
- What should he be paid?
At this point, it is too early to tell the entire picture on these questions thus assumptions need to be made based on the history and projections for each team in the Big Ten. It is projected that Indiana will repeat history and go 5-7 (2-7 B1G). Thus, missing another bowl game unless an upset happens and running the table again on non-conference opponents.
Assuming no major surprises, Tom Allen will have his contract renewed this year. Most think that he deserves it, there is no head coach in the country that can single-handedly turn Indiana around where teams like Ohio State and Michigan fare no chance against the Hoosiers, but Allen has kept it competitive and has made an incredible use of his resources and personnel available. The payday will be the bigger question of the contract renewal. He will obviously make more than he currently does and likely jump a few spots on the totem pole and rightfully so due to his results.
All things considered, Tom Allen will likely receive a payout in the $2.50-$3.25 million range. He will be paid more than Chris Ash and a good chance he will earn more than Michael Locksley. If he overachieves this year, he may earn more and jump into the middle to upper three-million range.
This “cookie jar” money is surely what Fred Glass is referring to and Tom Allen has a lot to prove this upcoming year and as the years progress with the slow development of a program that has not been competitive for years.
Assuming Indiana makes the post-season, they will assuredly be one of the best teams for their record due to the strength of their opponents. Indiana faces Ball State Saturday August 31 in Indianapolis where every non-conference game is nearly a must-win in order to have a chance at making the post-season.