After leading Indiana to its first bowl appearance since 2007, head coach Kevin Wilson has been rewarded with a raise and a six-year contract extension.
The new deal, which runs through 2021, will pay Wilson $2.55 million per year. That's more than $1 million more than he made in the 2015 season, in which he guided the Hoosiers to a 6-7 finish and an overtime loss to Duke in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. That was Indiana's second bowl game since 1993.
"I will tell you, after we played so well against those four top-10 or close to top-10 teams, I won't say we arrived, but we were so competitive against those prominent teams that if those last two games hadn't gone the way they did, we might have ended up in the same place we are today [with Wilson],'' athletic director Fred Glass told The Associated Press.
Under Wilson, the Hoosiers have shown steady progress. They went from one win in 2011 to a 6-7 mark last season, with three of four losses to ranked teams coming in the final minutes of regulation or overtime. Wilson has beaten Purdue to win the Old Oaken Bucket, the trophy awarded to the winner of the Purdue-Indiana rivalry, in three straight seasons -- something the Hoosiers' hadn't done since the 1940s.
Overall, Wilson has a 20-41 record after five seasons in Bloomington. In the past two years, he has had three players declare early for the NFL draft.
That was enough to convince Glass that Wilson needed a longer deal. What's more, the new deal erases any negativity about Wilson's future that could've been used against him on the recruiting trail.
"I think it was important to do that for that reason and also to reinforce our commitment to Kevin and our commitment to football,'' Glass said. "I think it represents another significant investment in improving Indiana football.''
Wilson has already signed two highly touted junior college transfers, including quarterback Richard Lagow of Plano, Texas, and has commitments from at least 10 high school players. With a new contract, upgraded football facilities and renewed hope in the program, Indiana believes he can continue to raise the national profile of Indiana football.
"Coupled with an already solid foundation, this ensures stability as we continue to build a winning program in the Big Ten East,'' Wilson said in a statement. "The administration has shown a total commitment to our program development, continuity, staffing, recruiting and facilities and has invested heavily in the development of and experience for our students. We are excited for the opportunity and embrace the challenge ahead.''
Michigan's Jim Harbaugh is the only other Big Ten coach signed through the 2021 season.
Information from ESPN's Brian Bennett and The Associated Press contributed to this report.