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Staff Possibilities | Offensive Coordinator

Who could Coach Walters bring in to lead the Boilermaker offensive attack?

Purdue Sports

Derek Dooley | Analyst | Alabama Crimson Tide

Relationship: Dooley was the offensive coordinator when Walters was the defensive coordinator for the Missouri Tigers in 2018 and 2019.

Overview: Derek Dooley is a very well respected offensive mind who has coached at the highest levels of college football as a head coach for Tennessee while also being a position coach in the NFL with the Cowboys, Giants, and Titans. Dooley’s time in Tennessee did not go well as the Vols were just 15-21 in his 3 seasons in Knoxville, TN. This past season, Dooley has been an analyst for Nick Saban at Alabama in a roll similar to Steve Sarkisian and other former head coaches who have looked to see the success Alabama is able to maintain.

Likelihood?: It is hard to really guess where Walters may go but if he is looking for some familiarity, Dooley and he have that in their time together at Missouri. Dooley checks a lot of boxes that Walters and Bobinski may want in an OC and being a former head coach may be very attractive for a young coach.

JaMarcus Shephard | Associate Head Coach/Wide Receivers | Washington Huskies

Relationship: It is unknown whether Walters and Shephard have had any connection up to this point

Overview: Shephard has now spent two different stints with two of the better offensive minds in college football in Jeff Brohm and Kalen Deboer. Although he has yet to call an actual offense the knowledge he has gained from these two would make his offensive playbook one that would contain the best from both of those coaches. Shephard is also a young and energetic coach that can recruit at a very good level and that type of energy on the other side from the head coach would be welcomed. Shephard would also provide some similarities for the offensive side of the ball as he likely would retain many of the concepts, scheme, and terminology from Jeff Brohm.

Likelihood?: I’d say there is a possibility for Shephard to be tabbed as I believe Bobinski liked Shephard during his time at Purdue. However, there were some things that occurred that may have soured that relationship just a bit.

Jeff Scott | Former HC | South Florida Bulls

Relationship: It is not known if Walters and Jeff Scott have any sort of connection up to this point.

Overview: Scott was brought on to the Clemson staff in 2008 to replace Dabo Swinney, who had been named head coach that same season. Scott not only grew into the offensive coordinator position in his 11 seasons with the Tigers, he also became a force in recruiting bringing in some of Clemson’s biggest playmakers on offense. Scott took over USF in 2020 and spent three seasons with the Bulls but struggled to a 4-26 record overall.

Likelihood? I’d say this is probably the most remote of possibilities in those names provided. Scott is a really good coordinator and position coach but it seems Clemson may not have room to bring him back on after failing at USF. A rebound at Purdue would be a good opportunity for Scott to work his way back up the ladder and his head coaching experience would be a big plus for the 36 year old Walters. Scott may be the hottest name out there as an offensive coordinator in terms of overall ability to scheme an offense and recruit.

Mark Helfrich | Former HC & OC | Oregon Ducks

Relationship: Helfrich was the offensive coordinator at Colorado while Walters was playing for the Buffalos from 2006 to 2008.

Overview: Helfrich is from the Chip Kelly coaching tree and with that comes a pretty wide open and spread style of offense. After Kelly left Oregon to coach in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles, Helfrich took over the successful Duck program. Helfrich had initial success in his three seasons going 33-8 but seemed to stall out in his final season going just 4-8 before being fired. Since being let go from Oregon, Helfrich was the offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears under one of the worst coaches in that organization's history in Matt Nagy.

Likelihood?: File this one again under remotely possible but there is some shared history between the two and Helfrich is looking for a job right now. There is also the positive of having a former head coach just down the hall to share experience with as well. It would be really something to see that Chip Kelly spread offense in the B1G before he brings his Bruins to the B1G in 2025.

Brian Brohm | Interim HC | Purdue Boilermakers

Relationship: It is not known if there is any connection between the two at this point in time. The two will likely speak and connect on some level during bowl preparation.

Overview: Every Boilermaker fan knows Brian Brohm at this point in time. He showed a real solid ability to call plays when Jeff was unable to coach due to illness back in 2020. That game showed a real understanding of play calling and preparation that belied his experience in doing so. Brohm would be keeping a lot of the same schemes and concepts while also building what he sees as his own style.

Likelihood?: Walters is going to have plenty of time to run into and speak to Brohm over the next couple of weeks as he gets acquainted with the program and Brohm leads Purdue during bowl prep. Brian would allow a lot of continuity within the program and ease the transition but his lack of overall experience may hurt down the road when paired with such a young head coach. File this under most likely to occur out of the options given.

Casey Woods | Offensive Coordinator | SMU Mustangs

Relationship: The two coached together at Missouri during the 2020 season.

Overview: Woods led an SMU Mustang offense that ranked 13th in the FBS averaging 38.4 points per game while averaging 324.9 yards passing and 154.9 yards rushing per game. Woods has had a similar trajectory to that of Walters in that the young coach has garnered a lot of success in a short amount of time and the jobs have reflected that being an OC at just 39 years of age for a well established G5 program.

Likelihood?: Not sure this one would be very likely as I’m not sure a single season where Walters was the defensive coordinator and Woods was a TE coach would provide much time to develop a relationship conducive to future opportunities but I can’t speak to that directly.