Ex-coach Mallory relishing Indiana's improvement

Ex-coach Mallory relishing Indiana's improvement

Few people are enjoying what could be Indiana's breakthrough football season more than former coach Bill Mallory.

Mallory finished his career in 1996 as the Hoosiers' winningest coach and still lives in Bloomington. He's familiar with second-year coach Kevin Wilson, his son Doug is the co-defensive coordinator and he goes to practices and home games.

Mallory said he sees in Wilson - who in 2011 became the Hoosiers' fifth coach in 14 years - a leader capable of winning consistently at a place where winning seasons have been few and far between.

``I do believe,'' Mallory said this week. ``I've got a great passion for this school and this program. I definitely want to see it succeed and feel very strong it's going to.''

The Hoosiers (4-5, 2-3) are coming off back-to-back Big Ten wins for the first time since 2007. If they knock off Wisconsin (6-3, 3-2) in their final home game Saturday, they would gain the inside track to representing the Leaders Division in the conference championship game. Ohio State and Penn State, the teams ahead of the Hoosiers in the division standings, are ineligible to play in the game.

The 77-year-old Mallory said he tries to contain his excitement, revert to his coaching ways and look at the Wisconsin game as just the next one on the schedule.

Mallory acknowledges it's more than that.

``If they could finish out with a winning season and get to a bowl, that would be great,'' he said. ``That would be a great plus and something you can build on.''

Mallory remains invested in the program. He shows up at every Tuesday and Wednesday practice and will pop in on Thursdays if he's not playing golf. He talks to Wilson and the assistants regularly but is no meddler.

``He never says anything unless you ask,'' Wilson said. ``He just loves the smell and sound of being around it.''

Mallory said he's optimistic for a few reasons. First, he likes the way Wilson goes about his job and how he stays upbeat in what is one of the nation's most challenging places to coach football. Mallory also likes the commitment shown by school president Michael McRobbie and athletic director Fred Glass.

The North End Zone Student-Athlete Development Center opened in 2009 and houses the football program and one of the largest weight rooms in the nation.

Indiana's recruiting classes still rank at or near the bottom of the Big Ten, but Wilson is getting more talented prospects to give the Hoosiers a look. Thirteen players have pledged to the 2013 class, including three four-star prospects. Two of those four-stars are from Indiana.

``The state of Indiana plays a lot better high school football than sometimes people realize, and they're really hitting this,'' Mallory said. ``We made a living off this state. A lot of good coaches and players come out of here and Kevin knows it.''

Indiana long has been a basketball school - the Hoosiers are No. 1 in the preseason poll - with football almost an afterthought.

Mallory said things are in place to become good in both sports.

``We're serious,'' Mallory said. ``We want to make it a go.''

Indiana has been playing football since 1885 and in the Big Ten since 1900. Wilson is the 28th coach, and only six of his predecessors had winning records. The Hoosiers have had only 12 NFL first-round draft picks since 1936 and none since 1994.

The 1945 team coached by Alvin N. ``Bo'' McMillin won the school's only outright Big Ten championship. The 1967 team under John Pont started 8-0 and lost to eventual national champion Southern California in the Rose Bowl. The Hoosiers had only one more winning season until 1979, when Lee Corso coached them to a Holiday Bowl win over BYU.

Mallory came along five years later to start his 13-season run. Mallory's teams account for six of the school's nine bowl appearances.

The Hoosiers had only five winning seasons in almost 40 years before Mallory arrived. But after a 0-11 start, Mallory went 64-49-3 in the next 10 years. He was the Big Ten coach of the year in 1986 and `87.

When athletic director Clarence Doninger announced Mallory's firing after eight games in 1996, he said Mallory was a victim of his own success. The six bowls came in a span of eight years, and expectations rose.

His 2-9 record in 1995, followed by a 2-6 start in `96, cost him his job.

Mallory's 68 wins are an Indiana record. So are his 75 losses.

Cam Cameron followed and never had a winning record in five years. Gerry DiNardo won a total of three Big Ten games in three years. Terry Hoeppner was 9-14 in two years. Bill Lynch took the Hoosiers to the Insight Bowl in 2007 and then won three Big Ten games the next three years.

Wilson went 1-11 and 0-8 last year. He started 46 different players, including a Bowl Subdivision-high 12 freshmen.

This year he has only three senior starters. Still, the Hoosiers have scored 24 or more points in each game this season and 10 straight overall, a school record. They've score more points in nine games than they did in 12 last year. They lead the Big Ten in passing and kickoff returns and are second in total offense.

Outwardly, Wilson downplays the Hoosiers' progress.

``But I think down deep he's excited with what he's seeing and the improvement being made,'' Mallory said.

Mallory said Wilson is dealing with success the way the coach of a long-struggling program should.

``You don't get satisfied because when you get satisfied, that's when you level off, and when you level off you go downhill,'' he said.

``When you're in the process of building a team like he is, and like back when I was involved here, it's something you build on.''

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2019 NBA Draft: Hawks trade up to No. 4, reportedly plan to pick Virginia's De'Andre Hunter

2019 NBA Draft: Hawks trade up to No. 4, reportedly plan to pick Virginia's De'Andre Hunter

The first big move of NBA Draft night - according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski - was to help Atlanta land Virginia's De'Andre Hunter.

Per Wojnarowski Atlanta has acquired the No. 4 pick from the Pelicans, which they got from the Lakers in the mega-deal for Anthony Davis, for the picks No. 8, 17, and 35. With that fourth overall selection, the Hawks plan to take Hunter. 

Hunter, the reigning ACC Defensive Player of the Year and a member of UVA's national championship team this past season, was profiled in NBC Sports Washington's I Am The Prospect series.

In his interview with NBC Sports Washington, Hunter described what he expects draft night to be like for him and his family. 

"Draft night's gonna be really emotional. I don't know if I'm gonna cry or not, but I know a few members of my family will be crying, so that'll probably get to me a little bit," Hunter said. "It's gonna be a great moment for not only me but for my family as well."

In another pre-draft trade, the Suns have acquired the No. 11 pick and forward Dario Saric from the Timberwolves for the No. 6 pick, per Wojnarowski


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2019 NBA Draft: All the best and wildest draft suits from the red carpet in New York


2019 NBA Draft: All the best and wildest draft suits from the red carpet in New York

It's NBA Draft night! That means prospects are about to begin the most exciting time of their professional lives. It also means they're going to show up in wild, sometimes fly, sometimes ill-advised outfits on the red carpet. 

Here's a quick roundup of what everybody's rocking this year. 

Bol Bol, Oregon

Is this one of the boldest draft looks ever? Hard to top rhinestone spider webs. 

RJ Barrett, Duke

Bright pink suit, custom Canadian flag lining and spiked loafers. A whole lot of look for Barrett. 

Zion Williamson, Duke

Williamson went with a cream satin tuxedo without a tie. 

Cam Reddish, Duke

Reddish opted for a gold-on-black print jacket and black shirt and pants, finished off with a simple gold chain and Versace loafers. 

Ja Morant, Murray State

Not only is Morant rocking a blue-purple pinstripe suit, but also he's wearing a pocket square of his own face! This is not a drill. 

Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga

Hachimura payed homage to his roots with his draft-night 'fit. In a burgundy and blue suit and shirt, he showed off fabrics from Japan and Benin in the lining of his jacket. 

This post will continue updating throughout the night