Purdue has found its replacement after Jeff Brohm’s departure. Illinois defensive coordinator Ryan Walters will leave the Illini to become the 37th full-time head coach in Purdue football history.
Brett McMurphy of Action Network broke the news Tuesday morning. Purdue football confirmed the hiring via Twitter shortly after.
Walters will arrive on campus immediately to start his work as the Boilermakers’ head coach. The details of the contract have yet to be disclosed, but that will be coming soon once it is finalized.
Mike Bobinski surprised many people with the hiring of Walters. The Illini defensive coordinator had not been mentioned in many coaching rumors until the last 24-48 hours.
Walters leaves Illinois after two successful years as defensive coordinator. During his time in Champaign, the Illini had a 13-11 record and were 9-9 in Big Ten play. Illinois reached the 8-win mark this season for the first time since 2007.
The Illini ranked second in the country in total defense, surrendering just 263.8 yards per game this season. They also led the nation in scoring defense, allowing 12.25 points per game, and forced the most turnovers with 30.
At 36, Walters will become the youngest head coach in the Big Ten and one of the youngest in college football. Despite his age, Walters has had a lot of experience in the coaching ranks.
Since graduating from Colorado in 2008 and having a cup of coffee in the NFL, Walters has been working his way up the coaching ladder. He has been an assistant coach at Colorado, Arizona, Oklahoma, North Texas, and Memphis. Walters was also the defensive coordinator at Missouri from 2018-2020 after being the co-defensive coordinator for two previous seasons.
Walters is now tasked with building off Purdue’s momentum over the last two years. The Boilermakers are coming off consecutive 8-win seasons for the first time since 2007 and secured the program’s first Big Ten Championship Game appearance earlier this month.
His first order of business will be to contact the current team members and Purdue’s 2023 recruiting class. Purdue already has five de-commitments, who are all unlikely to recommit to the Boilermakers ahead of National Signing Day on December 21st.
There will be news in the coming weeks regarding who Walters will bring with him from Illinois and if any current Purdue assistant coaches will be retained.
It has been a whirlwind of a week for Purdue and AD Mike Bobinski, but they believe they have found the new leader of Boilermakers football for years to come.