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More Indiana Football Departures This Week

Not looking great

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 20 Penn State at Indiana Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Indiana’s wide receivers coach Grant Heard has left for the same position at UCF, per 247Sports’ Brandon Marcello. Heard had been with Indiana as a receivers coach for the past five seasons, and was promoted to assistant offensive coordinator ahead of the 2020 season. Tom Allen had hired him away from Ole Miss in 2017 as one of the first assistants on his new staff.

Heard coached receivers such as Ty Fryfogle, Whop Philyor, Simmie Cobbs Jr., and Nick Westbrook during his time at Indiana, all three of whom received All Big-Ten honors in some capacity.

Heard is now the third offensive coach Tom Allen will have to replace this offseason, after Deland McCullough took the running backs coach job at Notre Dame and Nick Sheridan was fired.

When McCullough left, I wrote that his departure could be seen as something of a red flag, perhaps reflecting a lack of confidence in Allen’s new offensive coordinator hire or dissatisfaction with Allen’s decision to retain offensive line coach Darren Hiller. Heard’s departure only amplifies those concerns, as these departures do not reflect a happy or confident coaching staff at this point in time. That Heard left for a non Power Five job is certainly not comforting.

Indiana football also announced today that defensive end Jaren Handy would be dismissed from the team. Tom Allen said in his Thursday press conference that Handy’s dismissal was the result of “a collective” of reasons, rather than one distinct disciplinary issue.

Handy transferred to Indiana after one season at Auburn, where he appeared in seven games. Handy played in nine games for the Hoosiers, recording 19 tackles, including one for a loss. Following an injury against Michigan, Handy did not return to the Indiana lineup.

Indiana is set to begin spring practices on March 5, but has not announced whether it will play any spring games open to the public.