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Purdue Football: The Search for a Defensive Coordinator Continues

Who are some names to watch?

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Purdue Journal & Courier-USA TODAY NETWORK

Three Defensive Coordinators in Three Seasons.

This is less than ideal.

But, this is probably going to be the most important hire of the Jeff Brohm era at Purdue.

In 2017 and 2018, it was all glitz and glamor with our Boilers. In 2017, the defense was dominant at times, in 2018 they took a step back.

Then, with the fall off in 2019 - fingers were pointed at Nick Holt and Brohm moved on.

But, he moved on to an assistant coach that had some clear baggage, some very clear and evident red flags from his time at Nebraska and his time at Uconn.

But, after a terrible year on defense and rumors of Coach Diaco having a complete disconnect with staff and other players - we are moving on.

I am not worried about schemes, etc at this juncture, though I do believe a 4-2-5 would be best for the personnel that we have.

Here are some names that I think we should watch in the next couple of weeks.

Brock Spack - Head Coach - Illinois State

This is one where that would take some convincing. The former defensive coordinator for Joe Tiller would definitely bring in some good feelings, brining back feels of the Tiller Era. But, where is Coach Spack in terms of career now? He has been successful as the head coach at Illinois State. He turned down the Iowa Defensive Coordinator Job a couple of years ago. He probably thinks he should be running the Purdue Football Team, not coming back as a coordinator.

That thought process wouldn’t be wrong - he should have been the man that took over after Tiller. This would be a hire all Boilers would love.

Marcus Freeman - Defensive Coordinator - Cincinnati

I give this one a 10% chance. A former Position coach and Co-DC under Hazell at Purdue, Coach Freeman went to Cincinnati and has become one of the most promising young coaches in America.

Still in his 30s, he could remain a coordinator for a few more years and look for a head coaching job while remaining at Cincinnati in a weaker conference, or jump for a P5 DC job.

It is hard to believe that Cincinnati will have a better year next season than they did this year, his stock may never be higher.

Anthony Poindexter - Co-Defensive Coordinator - Purdue

Already in house. The players love him. He has been here since day one with Coach Brohm. There is a clear bridge of trust with Poindexter as he remained the Co-Defensive Coordinator when there were changes made on staff.

It appears he is going to survive another glutting of the defensive side of the ball, meaning, Coach Brohm thinks highly of him. In a year of heavy financial loss, Poindexter could be the cheapest option.

Derrick Jackson - Associate Head Coach/ Defensive Coordinator - Northern Illinois

He was originally a part of the Brohm staff hires in 2017. But, after a year he went to NIU to be the defensive coordinator - a step up from Purdue, as he was a position coach only in West Lafayette.

His NIU defenses have been far from impressive though, so not sure how much traction this gets.

Vince Kehres - Defensive Coordinator - Toledo

An outside the box look here. Vince is in his first year at Toledo as defensive coordinator where he had a top 40 defensive.

Vince comes from Mount Union, where he was a head football coach there, bolstering a 95-6 record, he is a winner in every single sense. As a coach or player, Vince has been a part of 12 national championships while at Mount Union (DIII)

Cort Dennison - Co-Defensive Coordinator - Louisville

Another young and upcoming star as a football coach. Cort is a 31 year old Co-DC at Louisville and also coaches linebackers.

While he is young, Cort was named to 247 Sports best 30 under 30 coaches in America in 2017 and 2018. There is some familiarity with Coach Brohm and Cort - Cort was a Linebackers assistant at Western Kentucky when Coach Btohm was the Assistant Head Coach in 2013.

Travaris Robinson - Defensive Coordinator - South Carolina

While not having great success at USC, Coach Robinson is highly regarded in the coaching field as a young coach with an intense coaching style. He is still under 40 years old and has his best seasons ahead of him.

Before landing as defensive coordinator at USC, he was a defensive backs coach at Auburn, Florida and Texas Tech. He spent his playing days at Auburn.

He has been the DC at USC since 2016, before Coach Muschamp was fired this season.