Purdue University on Tuesday announced Ryan Walters as its next head football coach. Walters most recently served as defensive coordinator for the University of Illinois and becomes the fourth-youngest Division I head coach at the age of 36.
Purdue says Walters has agreed to a five-year contract, which still requires formal approval from the university’s board of trustees. Full details of the contract are set to be released after the board’s approval.
Walters helped Illinois reach an 8-4 record in his second season with the university, with five of those wins holding opponents under seven points. He was named the 247Sports Defensive Coordinator of the Year and the On3 Coordinator of the Year, Purdue said in a news release.
“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,” Purdue Director of Athletics Mike Bobinski said in written remarks. “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 played at the University of Colorado from 2004-2008 before beginning his coaching career. He spent six seasons at the University of Missouri before joining Illinois.
Purdue says Walters will spend the rest of the month appointing his coaching staff, recruiting and observing the team’s preparation for the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 2 against LSU.
“I am incredibly humbled and honored to serve as the head football coach at Purdue University,” Walters said in written remarks. “Purdue is a world-class university, and our football program will pursue the same excellence exhibited across our campus.”
Purdue plans to introduce Walters at an event Wednesday at the Kozuch Football Performance Complex.