Big TenFootballHiring

Purdue hires Illinois DC Ryan Walters as head coach

Illinois DC Ryan Walters was announced on Tuesday as the new head football coach at Purdue. Walters’ Illini defense ranked #1 in points allowed and #2 in yardage allowed in all of FBS.

“We are thrilled for Coach Ryan Walters and his family to join us here at Purdue University,” AD Mike Bobinski said in a statement. “From an early point in the search process, Coach Walters stood out because of the energy, passion and intelligence he displayed as a defensive coordinator in both the Big Ten Conference and Southeastern Conference. His meteoric rise in the coaching profession is in large part due to his unique ability to connect with his student-athletes as both a coach and mentor. With that in mind, we look forward to the culture and atmosphere of success he and his staff will instill in and around our football program, and we see him as a perfect fit for our University and this community.”

Walters, 36, arrived at Illinois in 2021 after spending the previous six seasons at Missouri, including two as the primary DC. He is originally from Los Angeles and played safety at Colorado, but after getting his start at Colorado and Arizona he has coached solely in the Central Time Zone. Before Missouri, he had stints at Memphis, North Texas and as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma.

“I am incredibly humbled and honored to serve as the head football coach at Purdue University,” said Walters. “I am grateful to Director of Athletics Mike Bobinski and to President Daniels for this incredible opportunity. Purdue is a world-class university, and our football program will pursue the same excellence exhibited across our campus. My wife Tara and I, along with our boys, are beyond excited to join the Purdue and West Lafayette communities. Boiler Up!”

Walters is the first Purdue head coach to not have a primarily offensive background since Leon Burtnett in 1986. This marks a shift in the program, with the normally offense-forward Boilers installing a defensive mastermind as head coach.


credit to Purdue Athletics for the image