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Indiana football: The case for Sean Lewis

Breaking down a Hoosier coaching candidate.

Colorado State v Colorado Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Indiana fans have been eyeing Colorado offensive coordinator Sean Lewis for months. When it became apparent Indiana could make a change, Lewis’ was the name that got fans talking.

Don’t go into this thinking he’s a coordinator hire. If you were unaware, Lewis was the head coach at Kent State, a tough place to win, for years. His records there were affected by, well, the job itself and the fact that he played a ton of Power Five competition.

Kent State played all of Georgia, Oklahoma and Washington in nonconference play during Lewis’ last season leading the Golden Flashes. He still finished one win shy of a bowl berth.

He brings a few things to the table. Let’s go over it.


The Upside

Lewis checks more boxes than you’d think.

He has head coaching experience, notably at another tough place to win, and even got a bowl victory (Kent State’s only bowl win in program history) in the process. Almost all of his career has been spent in the Midwest after playing at Wisconsin.

Other jobs he’s worked include Akron, Eastern Illinois, Bowling Green and Syracuse. His ties to Ohio reportedly almost landed him the Cincinnati job last cycle and would come in handy in Bloomington.

Indiana has to recruit the talent that teams like Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State miss on and establish footholds in places like Florida. Lewis has recruited this area before and been successful doing so.

He was brought to Colorado to work with the players drawn by Deion and helped Shedeur Sanders become one of the better quarterbacks in all of FBS. Doing so with a patchwork offensive line and personnel who’d only spent months together.

He’s seen different programs at different levels and had a hand in the ongoing Deion experiment at Colorado. The Buffs’ offense started to fall apart once Deion gave play-calling duties to Pat Shurmur.

The Downside

He doesn’t come with a lot of experience and hasn’t worked in the Big Ten outside of playing here. I’d hesitate to call him unproven but he’d be tied for youngest coach in the conference with Purdue’s Ryan Walters.

Lewis doesn’t have a lot of ties to Indiana. If he’s good, another program is going to come calling.

Which... who cares.

Indiana is not the kind of program that should be thinking about whether or not its head coach gets hired away. If they’re winning that much you take it and run with it. Obviously do what you can to keep him around but that’s not a problem.

If anything it’d show that you can win here.


If you ask me, Lewis should be No. 1 on Indiana’s list.