Tag Archives: Split-T Offense

Great Coaches: Bud Wilkinson

22 Mar

 

Bud1Before he entered coaching, he briefly worked for his father’s mortgage company. But the lure of coaching football was too powerful, so Wilkinson became an assistant coach at Syracuse and then back at Minnesota. During World War II he served on an aircraft carrier with the U.S. Navy, and also coached a Navy football team at Iowa Preflight Academy, a school designed to prepare its students to enter Naval flight school.

faurot1 - at the  chalknoard

Dan Faurot at the chalkboard.

At Iowa Preflight, Wilkinson met and coached with Jim Tatum in 1946 where he learned the intricacies of Dan Faurot’s Split-T offense.  When Tatum was hired as the head football coach at the University of Oklahoma. Wilkinson followed Tatum to Norman, and after just one season, Tatum left the Sooners for Maryland. The 30-year-old Wilkinson was named head coach (and athletic director) and would soon make history with the option offense Farout had created and, with the aid of Gomer Jones,  his defensive coordinator, he would devise the 5-2 Defense, which became widely used by colleges and high schools and was simply known as the “Okie” defense.

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Offensive System: Air Raid

21 Mar

air raid - line splits

The Air Raid is a no-huddle, spread attack that turns all five of its eligible receivers into “go-to” guys. The objective is to get “the ball to the person who can score [the fastest].”1

The no-huddle approach dictates tempo. Defenses are forced out of their normal routine and can barely catch their breath, let alone substitute personnel to fit the situation.

Meanwhile, the various spread formations it uses stretch defenses horizontally, creating space in which the receivers can operate and, at the same time, isolating defenders – most especially the weak ones.

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