Skip to Content

Former Mizzou defensive coordinator lands head coaching job


Former Mizzou safeties coach and defensive coordinator Ryan Walters will be the next head coach of the Purdue football team, following an official announcement on Tuesday morning.

Walters most recently served as the defensive coordinator at Illinois. In his second season with the Fighting Illini, he was named 247sports' defensive coordinator of the year and the On3 coordinator of the year.

The 2022 Illinois team will head into its bowl game with the No. 1 scoring defense in the nation and No. 2 in yards allowed per game.

Before moving to Champaign, Walters worked with Mizzou for six years. Three of those years were spent as the defensive coordinator under both Barry Odom and current head coach Eli Drinkwitz. Mizzou released Walters in 2020, before hiring then-defensive coordinator Steve Wilks.

Walters' 2019 MU defense ranked in the top 20 in multiple categories, including total defense and scoring defense.

"We are thrilled for Coach Ryan Walters and his family to join us here at Purdue University," Athletics Director Mike Bobinski said in a press 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. 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."

He will be the 37th head coach in Purdue football history.

Article Topic Follows: Sports

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Nathalie Jones

Nathalie anchors and reports sports for ABC17. She started working at the station in June 2020.


ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content