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Purdue Football: Staff Continuity is Becoming an Issue

I mean, there is always a fall guy, but.

Illinois v Purdue Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

When Jeff Brohm arrived in 2017, it was all glitz and glamor. Players, coaches and fans were having a blast. #LetsPLayFootball took West Lafayette by storm.

Since the end of the 2018 season though, it has been far from that. Since that blow out loss to Auburn in the Music City Bowl, it has been a disaster to say the least.

Compiling a 6-12 record in 2019 and 2020 combined.

And, there is always a fall guy.

Staff members have left for different opportunities, but coaches have been fired as well.

In college football, really, any level of football, staff continuity plays a huge role in year to year success. Relationships are built, expectations are set in stone, coaches know how to work with one another.

Here is the list of coaches that have left the Purdue Football Program since the Brohm Era has begun.

  • Tony Levine - Special Teams Coordinator - Left to return to Houston and build Chick Fil As
  • Derrick Jackson - Defensive Backs - Left to be DC at NIU
  • Reggie Johnson - Defensive Line - Fired
  • Mark Tommerdahl - Special Teams - Fired
  • Kevin Wolthausen - Defensive Assistant/Special Teams - Fired
  • Nick Holt - Defensive Coordinator - Fired
  • Greg Brown - Cornerbacks - Fired
  • Bob Diaco - Defensive Coordinator - Fired
  • Eron Hodges - Director of Player Personnel - Fired

So, in 4 seasons at Purdue, we have seen 9 coaches leave the program, whether it was by choice or told to leave.

I totally get needing to get the right guys in to build what you want to build - I do.

But, at some point, the staff needs to be maintained. Our incoming Juniors and Seniors on defense will be learning their third system in 3 years.

That is:

3 different coaches, implementing their scheme, their expectations, their styles of coaching, building rapport from the ground up and trust.

This next Defensive Coordinator hire will be the most important in Brohm’s Career at Purdue. Either he hits it out of the park and we see some spark again from this staff like we did in 2017 and 2018, or we see the mediocre teams we have seen in 2019 and 2020.

Not only in 2021 will there be a new defensive coordinator, we have a hole to fill for cornerbacks coach and now hiring a new director of player personnel, who is generally the foundation of building relationships with incoming recruits and players on the team.

The turnover of the defensive side of the ball, is a lot like what we saw with Bobby Petrino during his time at Louisville, where he could not get the right hire in.

At first he had Todd Grantham for 3 seasons, then fired him, then Peter Sirmon was the DC for one season before finally hiring Brian VanGorder for DC the year he got fired.

Sound familiar? Nick Holt for three seasons, Bob Diaco for one season and a to be named for the next, I hope our third defensive coordinator ends up being a great hire and is here for ten seasons.

When you look at really good football programs, you staff continuity, thus far in the Brohm Era, he is lacking in that area. I want a staff that will be together for a long time, grow together and for the players to know what to expect from a year to year basis.

Lets hit this next hire out of the park and start having our defensive staff stick around for a few years at a time.