Purdue Boilermakers Coaching Staff 2023

    Ryan Walters has assembled a coaching staff at Purdue that has many excited about the future of the Boilermakers' program.

    After Jeff Brohm left Purdue to return to his alma mater, the Louisville Cardinals, Purdue turned to a conference rival for their next head coach in Ryan Walters, recently the defensive coordinator for the Illinois Fighting Illini, who boasted college football’s best defense last year. With Walters’ previous success and an offseason full of intriguing hires and transfers, there’s an air of excitement around the future of the Boilermakers’ program.

    Purdue Boilermakers Coaching Staff 2023

    Head Coach: Ryan Walters

    Arguably the top defensive coordinator in the conference from a season ago, Purdue made Walters the fourth-youngest head coach in the Power Five in December of 2022, following one of the most impressive defensive turnarounds in recent memory. The Fighting Illini posted an 8-4 record, with five wins holding their opponents under seven points and seven wins at 10 points or fewer.

    The Illini went from one of the Power Five’s worst defenses in 2020 to top-ten national rankings in 17 different defensive categories at the end of 2022.

    Walters got his start as a student assistant for the Colorado Buffaloes in 2009, following a successful four-year career as a safety for the Buffs from 2004-2008. In 2010, he moved to Arizona University, where he served as a graduate assistant for the Wildcats before becoming the defensive backs coach in 2011 under then-head coach Mike Stoops.

    Walters then followed Stoops to the University of Oklahoma as a graduate assistant in 2012 before taking the job as the cornerbacks coach for the University of North Texas in 2013.

    Walters would bounce from North Texas to Memphis before winding up in the SEC as the safeties coach for the Missouri Tigers in 2015. Walters impressed then-defensive coordinator Barry Odom, who named Walters co-defensive coordinator in 2016 when Odom became the head coach.

    Walters eventually earned the full-time defensive coordinator role in 2018, turning the Missouri defense around into one of the SEC’s best by the time he left to take the Illinois job following the 2020 season.

    MORE: Purdue Boilermakers Depth Chart

    He has coached numerous NFL talents across his career, such as Bobby McCain, Tyree Gillespie, Joshuah Bledsoe, Kerby Joseph, Devon Witherspoon, and Sydney Brown.

    Defensive Coordinator: Kevin Kane

    Kevin Kane followed Walters from Illinois to Purdue at the end of the 2022 season. At Illinois, Kane oversaw the development of their outside linebackers into one of the nation’s best pass-rushing attacks.

    A former All-Big 12 linebacker at Kansas, Kane has coached multiple positions in his career, including fullbacks for Northern Illinois in 2011.

    At the end of his playing career, Kane was a graduate assistant at Wisconsin before spending numerous years coaching at Northern Illinois. Kane helped lead the Huskies to three Mid-American Conference Championships and five bowl appearances during his time there.

    After a brief stint at Kansas, Kane was back at Northern Illinois before taking the same position on Sonny Dykes’s staff at SMU. Kane’s full college resume can be found below:

    • Kansas (Student Assistant, 2006-07)
    • Wisconsin (Graduate Assistant, 2008-09, Defensive Quality Control, 2010)
    • Northern Illinois (Tight Ends/Fullbacks, 2011)
    • Northern Illinois (Linebackers, 2012-2014)
    • Kansas (Linebackers, 2015)
    • Northern Illinois (Defensive Coordinator, 2016-17)
    • SMU (Defensive Coordinator, 2018-20)
    • Illinois (Outside Linebackers coach, 2021-22)

    Offensive Coordinator: Graham Harrell

    Famously known for his playing tenure as one of the most successful quarterbacks of the early 2000s while at Texas Tech, Graham Harrell has built a resume as one of the nation’s top offensive play-callers, drawing on his experiences working under Mike Leach, Dana Holgorsen, Seth Littrell, and Clay Helton.

    Harrell got started as an assistant at Washington State in 2014 before becoming the outside wide receivers coach in 2015, coaching players like Gabe Marks and River Cracraft.

    Seth Littrell hired Harrell to be his offensive coordinator at North Texas in 2016, where he quickly turned around the Mean Green’s offenses into one of the nation’s best passing offenses. From there, Harrell took the job as USC’s offensive coordinator, where he called plays until the end of the 2021 season.

    Harrell comes to Purdue after a brief one-year stint as the offensive coordinator for the West Virginia Mountaineers. Harrell has coached several high-flying offenses, with several finishing in the top 15 in passing yards each season. His full coaching resume can be found below:

    • Oklahoma State (Quality Control Assistant, 2009)
    • Washington State (Offensive Analyst, 2014, Outside Wide Receivers coach 2015)
    • North Texas (Offensive Coordinator, 2016-17)
    • USC (Offensive Coordinator, 2018-21)
    • West Virginia (Offensive Coordinator, 2022)

    Associate Head Coach/Wide Receivers Coach: Cory Patterson

    Cory Patterson is another coach following Walters from Illinois. Patterson previously served as the running backs coach for the Fighting Illini, helping guide Chase Brown to a Doak Walker Finalist season in 2022. Before his time as a successful running backs coach, Patterson served as Illinois’ tight ends coach under Lovie Smith.

    Patterson got started as a successful high school coach in Missouri, where he led Trinity Catholic to a 27-6 record over his three years there. Patterson was named the Archdiocesan Athletic Association (AAA) Conference Coach of the Year all three seasons.

    His high school ties helped him become one of Illinois’ top recruiters. Two of the highest-rated recruits in the modern era signed with Illinois under Patterson. Isaiah Williams and Shammond Cooper both came to Illinois in 2019 as four-star prospects and top-150 recruits in the nation.

    Running Backs Coach: Lamar Conard

    Lamar Conard is a former Purdue alum, where he played as a safety from 1996-99. Following a graduate assistantship at Purdue, Conard was hired to be a defensive assistant at Illinois State before taking over as the running backs coach for the RedHawks in 2010.

    While at Illinois State, Conard produced three 1,000-yard rushers, including ISU’s all-time leading rusher, Marshaun Coprich.

    After a successful seven years coaching running backs at Illinois State, Conard then took over as the running backs coach for Miami (OH), where he coached for five years before taking over at Purdue.

    Offensive Line Coach: Marcus Johnson

    A former second-round pick by the Minnesota Vikings in 2005, Marcus Johnson brings his NFL experience to his coaching pedigree. Getting started as an assistant strength & conditioning coach under David Cutcliffe at Duke, Johnson worked his way up into a full-time role as the Blue Devils’ offensive line coach in 2016 and 2017.

    Johnson moved on from Duke to the SEC, where he coached Mississippi State’s offensive line from 2018-19, working with players like Elgton Jenkins, Tyre Phillips, Deion Calhoun, Darryl Williams, and Greg Eiland.

    After his tenure with the Bulldogs, Johnson took over the Missouri offensive line in 2020 before being hired by Walters at the end of the 2022 season.

    Tight Ends Coach: Seth Doege

    Following a successful playing career at Texas Tech in 2011 and 2012 and a brief stint in the NFL and CFL, Seth Doege got started as a coach at Bowling Green, where he worked up from a graduate assistant to special teams coach AND wide receivers coach in 2018. Doege tutored wide receiver Scotty Miller, who finished All-MAC in 2016.

    He followed Harrell to USC, where he served as a Quality Control Analyst before taking over as the Trojans’ tight ends coach in 2021. Doege spent 2022 as an analyst at Ole Miss.

    Defensive Line Coach: Brick Haley

    Brick Haley has coached both college and NFL defenses for 31 years before taking over as the defensive line coach at Purdue. During his career, Haley has mentored 11 NFL Draft picks, including two first-round picks in Barkevious Mingo and Michael Brockers while at LSU.

    His coaching tenure has so many stops to quickly summarize, but Haley has coached a slew of NFL-caliber players such as: Jordan Elliott, Terry Buckner Jr., Charles Omenihu, Hassan Ridgeway, Poona Ford, Bennie Logan, Akiem Hicks, and Al Woods over his career and helped mentor Tommie Harris to a Pro Bowl in 2007.

    Outside Linebackers Coach: Joe Dineen

    A former All-American linebacker at Kansas, Joe Dineen has been a student under defensive coordinator Kevin Kane for years now, following him from Kansas to SMU to Illinois and now to Purdue, where Dineen will step into Kane’s previous role.

    With the Jayhawks, Dineen was a 2018 consensus All-American, AP All-American and two-time Sports Illustrated All-American. Dineen was also an All-Big 12 First Team selection and three-time team captain.

    Cornerbacks Coach: Sam Carter

    Sam Carter was a former All-Big 12 safety for the TCU Horned Frogs, finishing as a senior semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award in 2014. Carter was hired as a defensive quality control coach at Missouri under Barry Odom, where he worked alongside Ryan Walters.

    Odom then hired Carter at Arkansas as his cornerbacks coach, where Carter helped Montaric Brown lead the SEC in interceptions. Carter spent 2022 at Ole Miss as the Rebels’ cornerbacks coach.

    Safeties Coach: Grant O’Brien

    O’Brien is another former Illinois assistant following Walters to Purdue. Following seasons as the defensive coordinator for Northern Arizona and the defensive line coach at Florida International, O’Brien was hired as a defensive quality control analyst at Missouri under Barry Odom in 2018, where he worked alongside Ryan Walters.

    O’Brien followed Walters to Illinois, where he served as an analyst from 2021 to 2022.

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