BLOOMINGTON Former Louisiana and Vanderbilt coach Gerry DiNardo was named Indiana”s new football coach yesterday, a month after Cam Cameron”s firing.

Paul Wong
Indiana president Myles Brand welcomes Gerry DiNardo yesterday. DiNardo previously coached Louisiana State and the XFL”s Birmingham Bolts.<br><br>AP PHOTO

DiNardo has been signed to a five-year contract paying him $225,000 a year, Hoosiers athletic director Michael McNeely said during a news conference at Memorial Stadium.

DiNardo, who could make nearly $800,000 a year if he meets performance incentives in his contract, said he is eager to put his mark on the Hoosiers” football program.

“Our mission is simple: Move the student-athlete toward championships on the field, success in the classroom, and success with people when they leave campus,” DiNardo said.

DiNardo, who coached the Birmingham Bolts of the XFL last year, was selected by McNeely after a 34-day search.

Cameron was fired Dec. 5 after going 18-37 in five seasons with no bowl appearances and no winning seasons.

DiNardo said he would meet with Cameron”s assistant coaches, but stopped short of making any commitments to keep them on his staff.

“I will keep in mind staff chemistry is of critical importance,” he said.

DiNardo said he would aggressively recruit in Indiana.

“I personally will be in every high school in the state of Indiana, whether there”s a prospect there or not,” he said.

DiNardo, 49, has a 51-49-1 career record as a college head coach. At Louisiana State, DiNardo led the Tigers to three straight bowl appearances, from 1995-97. But he was fired 10 games into the 1999 season.

DiNardo was 32-24-1 in five seasons at Louisiana State. DiNardo went 19-25 in four years at Vanderbilt their best four-year span in 25 years.

DiNardo was selected from a group of four finalists that included former San Diego Chargers head coach Mike Riley, South Florida coach Jim Leavitt and former Oklahoma head coach and current Louisiana State defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs.

DiNardo also was an assistant at three schools: Maine, Eastern Michigan and Colorado. He played football at Notre Dame from 1972 to 1974 and was a member of the 1973 national championship team.

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