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Purdue Football Opening The Checkbook for Assistants

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Purdue already has Brian Brohm as an assistant, but who else is coming.

Rutgers v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Yesterday was hopefully day one of the long overdue football rebuild. We already wasted four years on what we thought was a rebuild. Instead, it was a complete demolition. Jeff Brohm now takes over and he has a difficult task ahead. He is getting six years and $20 million to do the job, but that is only part of the equation. His assistants will have a large role in that turnaround. To that end, Purdue has promised a minimum $3.5 million pool for assistant coach salaries:

Bobinski, Purdue President Mitch Daniels and the Board of Trustees affirmed that opportunity by committing additional resources beyond the head coach's salary. Bobinski said Brohm's salary pool for assistant coaches would be $3.5 million — about a million dollars more than committed to last year's staff — and there would be additional upgrades to support staff.

So how does that compare? Well, we have a USA Today salary database to help us figure that out. It only has data for the 2015 season, but that is enough to give us a good idea. For that year Purdue had $2,245,000 for nine assistant coaches. They were divided as follows:

John Shoop - $400,000

Greg Hudson - $395,000

Taver Johnson - $250,000

Terry Malone - $250,000

Jim Bridge - $225,000

Marcus Freeman - $200,000

Rubin Carter - $200,000

Gerad Parker - $175,000

Jafar Williams - $150,000

The sad thing is that these numbers were a significant bump up from what Danny hope’s crew was paid, and it still wasn’t enough. Carter, Shoop, and Hudson were replaced after 2015 with Malone getting promoted to Offensive Coordinator, Freeman adding a Co-Defensive Coordinator title to his job, and a few others being added such as Ross Els and Tim Lester.

So with more than $1.25 million to go, how does that work out for Purdue? The 2015 figure was only ahead of Illinois in terms of the Big Ten (with Penn State and Northwestern not submitting figures). The $3.5 million puts Purdue closer to Nebraska and Michigan State according to the 2015 figures. Nebraska was at $3.45 million and Michigan State was at $3,195,154. Only Michigan and Ohio State were higher, with both of them going over $4 million for assistants.

That’s the good news. It certainly looks like Purdue is going to start spending on par with the rest of the conference. Can it find the right assistants, however?

Well, we already have a good idea for a few:

Brian Brohm – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks – It is not quite official, but Brian Brohm is expected to come with his older brother to serve as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. This is a very good thing because it brings in some continuity. He was the QB coach at Western Kentucky under Jeff and the co-offensive coordinator with Tony Levine. We might even be able to save a bit of the cash here. Brohm helped direct one hell of an offense, and the top assistant at WKU was only getting $303,000. Brian Brohm will likely get a salary boost, but he is a quality coordinator (pretty much the anti-Shoop) and we can still have quite a bit of cash left over for other spots.

Gerad Parker – Wide Receivers – This is just speculation, but Parker has pretty much been running things for a few months now and I found it very interesting that he was the press conference yesterday. Parker did an admirable job as receivers coach and eventually as interim coach while being one of the lowest paid assistants. There has been a lot of support to retain him as an assistant to ease in the transition with current players, and that is not a bad idea.

Marcus Freeman – Linebackers – Freeman did a solid job with the linebackers in developing Ja’Whaun Bentley and Markus Bailey. I don’t think he keeps the “Co-Defensive Coordinator” label he had this past season, but keeping him around as linebackers coach could be valuable.

Rod Woodson – Defensive Backs – Woodson publicly said that he wanted to come back and coach at Purdue and was even interested in the head coaching vacancy. Without a ton of experience I don’t think he was ready, but why not bring him home as defensive backs coach. He is currently the assistant DB coach for the Raiders, but with some coaxing I think we could bring him home. Who better to have coaching our defensive backs than one of the best defensive backs of all-time?

Mike Alstott - Running Backs – Mike’s son Griffin is already committed for next season, so why not have the A-train himself come back with him? Currently, Mike works as a youth coach in the Tampa area, but as Purdue’s greatest running back he could be an asset. It would also answer a lifelong question for me: What would a wide open Brees-type offense have been like if we had Alstott as his running back?

The Best Damn Defensive Coordinator We Can Find For $1 million – Defensive Coordinator – This is my secret plan in having Alstott and Woodson come home. They can save Purdue a little and be quality assistant. The majority of the assistant coaches pool needs to go to a defensive coordinator because or defense has been shit for years now. We can’t stop the run and can’t get stops on third downs. I want a lights out defensive coordinator that is also an excellent recruiter. I have no idea who this mythical person is, but it is Brohm’s most important hire. In 2015 only nine assistant coaches made north of $1 million. Purdue can’t go cheap here. We have done that with Donn Landholm, Greg Hudson, and Ross Els. It hasn’t worked at all.