Purdue names Illinois DC Ryan Walters head coach


On Tuesday, Purdue announced Illinois defensive coordinator Ryan Walters as their new head coach.ย 

Walters, 36, has been the defensive coordinator at Illinois for the past two seasons. Before that, he held several posts, dating back to his assistant days at his alma mater, Colorado, back in 2009.ย 

"Congratulations to Coach Walters on taking the head coaching job at Purdue," Illinois head coach Bret Bielema said in a statement. "Ryan is a talented coach with a bright future. We thank him and his family for everything they did for our program.ย 
"This is something that I had seen coming for a while now. We have had a plan in place that we will unveil in the coming weeks that will position Illinois Football for sustained success in 2023 and for years to come."

Walters helped Illinois to the second-best defense in the country this season, allowing 13.4 points per game, second to Air Force. They allow 277.4 yards of offense per contest, which ranks third in the country.ย 

Two weeks ago,ย Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon was named the Big Ten's Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year. This season, Witherspoon has recorded 32 solo tackles, 2.5 sacks and three interceptions for 97 yards.ย 

Purdue claimed the Big Ten West Division championship after defeating Indiana 11 days ago. They have the best conference record in the west this season, going 6-3 and 8-5 overall. Illinois finished second to Purdue in the standings.ย 

The Boilermakers will take on No. 16 LSU for the Vrbo Citrus Bowl. Illinois will face No. 24 Mississippi State in the ReliaQuest Bowl.ย 

Contact Us