By: Michael Hanich | Sports Editor
Within two weeks, the South Alabama Jaguars football program has been through a series of team altering events. Nearly 24 hours after their embarrassing 29-0 home loss to the Troy Trojans, the Jaguars fired their head coach Steve Campbell. The program needed to make a proper and efficient search for the right candidate after three years of no progress in the football program’s development. On Dec. 12, the program found its right coach in a familiar face: Kane Wommack.
Wommack has been the defensive coordinator for the Indiana Hoosiers for the two successful years (2019-2020) and the linebackers’ coach for three years (2018-2020). He spent the 2016 and 2017 College Football season as the linebackers coach/defensive coordinator for the Jaguars before Campbell’s arrival as head coach.
Wommack became one of the most well demanded assistant coaches in College Football after making the Hoosiers’ defense one of the top 25 defenses in 2020. This season, the #7 Indiana Hoosiers (6-1) has their defense ranked 20th in the nation in points allowed per game (19.4) and 35th in rushing yards allowed per game (135.7) under the development and leadership of Wommack. Wommack is a coach that gives his team energy and devotion to finish the play with full effort.
Most of Jag Nation felt that Wommack should have been given the head coaching job after the 2017 College Football season when Joey Jones was released as head coach. The program decided to hire Campbell, the head coach of the Central Arkansas Bears, leaving the 31-year assistant to join his good friend Tom Allen at Indiana.
After a 5-7 year in 2018 for the Hoosiers, Allen gave up his dual role of head coach/defensive coordinator and let Wommack control the defense. The impact was tremendous for the Hoosiers as they were more focused and determined. In the two seasons with Wommack as the defensive coordinator, the Hoosiers accumulated a record of 14-6 (11-5 in Big Ten Conference play).
Wommack was introduced as the third-ever head coach of the Jaguars on Monday. He described the opportunity to coach the Jaguars as a dream come true. He was highly appreciative of the opportunity to coach for South Alabama in 2017 and 2018, and specifically pointed out the experience of coming on recruiting trips to the south region for the Hoosiers to see the future site of Hancock Whitney Stadium.
Wommack will be one of the youngest head coaches, if not the youngest, to start the 2021 College Football season at 34-years old when fall arrives. He has already started assembling his coaching staff and the recruiting process, which has taken a hit since the firing of Campbell as head coach. He does return some serious talent on both sides of the ball as their productivity is better than the 4-7 record (3-5 in Sun Belt Conference play) would indicate.
Image courtesy of Al.com.