WCIA — Illinois defensive coordinator Ryan Walters is Purdue’s next head coach. The move was officially announced by the Boilermakers on Tuesday, with a formal introduction planned for Wednesday.

Walters gets his first head coaching job in the same division as the Illini (Big Ten West) after the Boilermakers beat Illinois the past three seasons, replacing Jeff Brohm who left for his alma mater Louisville. Walters becomes the fourth-youngest head coach in the FBS at 36 years old and will receive a five-year contract, with details pending board approval.

“I am incredibly humbled and honored to serve as the head football coach at Purdue University,” Walters said in a school announcement statement. “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 was one of three finalists for the Broyles Award this season, recognizing the top assistant coach in college football. Walters turned around Illinois’ defense taking it from the 97th ranked unit in 2020 before he arrived to the No. 1 scoring defense nationally this season, giving up just 12.3 points per game.
 
“We are thrilled for Coach Ryan Walters and his family to join us here at Purdue University,” Purdue athletic director 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. Please join me in welcoming Ryan, his wife Tara, and their two sons, Aaron and Cason, to West Lafayette.”