Hope picks familiar face to lead Boilers defense
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Purdue head coach Danny Hope returned to his Eastern Kentucky roots and named Donn Landholm as his new defensive coordinator today.
Landholm replaces longtime Purdue assistant Brock Spack, who left last month to become head coach at Illinois State. The 52-year-old Landholm spent the last 12 seasons at FCS Eastern Kentucky, serving on Hope's staff from 2003-07.
Landholm has coached Eastern Kentucky's linebackers since 1997 before adding the coordinator title in 2005 and becoming the team's recruiting coordinator last year.
"Donn is a tremendous football coach and an excellent recruiter, and he will be a difference-maker on our staff," Hope said in a statement. "He knows what it takes to win a championship. When he worked for me at Eastern Kentucky, his guys consistently overachieved. Donn is as good a teacher as I have been around. He is extremely organized and pays tremendous attention to detail."
Hope also announced that Mark Hagen will coach Purdue's linebackers while Terrell Williams will work with the defensive line. Hagen and Williams had shared the line responsibilities in 2008. Lou Anarumo will remain as the Boilers' defensive backs coach.
Landholm has a history with Hope and extensive experience coaching and recruiting at the FCS level. In 2007, Eastern Kentucky had 35 takeaways and led the nation in turnover margin (plus-18).
The concern with this hire, as it was with Hope, is whether Landholm can succeed in the Big Ten. He hasn't coached in the FBS since 1991, his final season as a volunteer assistant linebackers coach at Arizona State.
Landholm won't serve as Purdue's recruiting coordinator but should strengthen the team's ties to Florida and the southeast. Purdue currently has 12 commitments from Florida and two from Georgia for its 2009 class.
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
1:39 4th Qtr Miami (FL) 21 South Carolina 24 7:06 3rd Qtr Boston College 14 Penn State 7 8:00 PM ET Nebraska 24 USC Final Cincinnati 17 Virginia Tech 33 Final 15 Arizona State 36 Duke 31
Final Nevada 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Final Utah State 21 UTEP 6 Final 22 Utah 45 Colorado State 10 Final Western Michigan 24 Air Force 38 Final South Alabama 28 Bowling Green 33
Final Marshall 52 Northern Illinois 23 Final Navy 17 San Diego State 16
Final Central Michigan 48 Western Kentucky 49 Final Fresno State 6 Rice 30
Final Illinois 18 Louisiana Tech 35 Final Rutgers 40 North Carolina 21 Final North Carolina State 34 UCF 27
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
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