Purdue Football: Ryan Walters Officially Announces Finalized Coaching Staff

[Sports Illustrated] Purdue Football: Ryan Walters Officially Announces Finalized Coaching Staff

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Since being officially named as Purdue football's next head coach for the 2023 season, Ryan Walters has been assembling his staff and hitting the recruiting trail. 

The Boilermakers brought in offensive coordinator Graham Harrell and defensive coordinator Kevin Kane during Walters' first week at the helm. The team officially announced the rest of the coaching staff on Wednesday. 

Alongside Walters, Harrell and Kane, the Boilermakers welcomed Cory Patterson (associate head coach/wide receivers), Sam Carter (cornerbacks), Lamar Conard (running backs), Joe Dineen (outside linebackers), Seth Doege (tight ends), Brick Haley (defensive line), Matt Mattox (offensive line), Grant O'Brien (safeties) and Kiero Small (director of strength and conditioning).

"I am extremely excited and blessed to have this group of coaches join our Purdue family," Walters said in a release. "This staff is dedicated to developing real relationships on and off the field with the young men in our locker room. We have hit the ground running on the recruiting trail with energy and precision. I cannot wait for our team, in its totality, to get on the field this spring."

Cory Patterson 

Associate Head Coach, Wide Receivers

Patterson, like Kane, is reuniting with Walters after spending five seasons as an assistant at Illinois. He served as the tight ends coach for the Fighting Illini before moving to coach running backs. 

In 2022, Illinois running back Chase Brown ended as a finalist for the Doak Walker Award and rushed for 1,643 yards on the year under the direction of Patterson. 

"Coach Patterson brings a relationship-driven approach to his coaching style and techniques," Walters said. "He is an excellent recruiter, really detailed and is a student of the game. I'm excited for his energy to permeate throughout our locker room."

Sam Carter

Cornerbacks

Carter comes to the Big Ten after making stops in the SEC with Ole Miss, Arkansas and Missouri. In one season with the Rebels, he coached cornerback Deantre Prince, who recorded 11 pass breakups and one interception. 

During the two seasons Carter was with the Razorbacks, the team tallied 26 interceptions in 2020, ranking second in the conference behind Alabama. Arkansas posted a 9-4 record in 2021. 

Prior to leaving for Fayetteville, Carter — alongside Walters — was at Missouri serving as a defensive quality control and analyst under Barry Odom.

"Coach Carter is one of the more competitive individuals I've ever come across, beginning from our time spent together at Missouri," Walters said. "Not only was he an All-American football player, in my opinion, he's an All-American coach. He will bring an energy and enthusiasm every day that is unmatched."

Lamar Conard

Running Backs

Conard returns to his alma mater after spending five years as the running backs coach at Miami (Ohio). He also spent nine seasons as an assistant at Illinois State, including seven as the team's running backs coach and recruiting coordinator.

Between 1996 and 1999, Conard was a defensive back for the Boilermakers who started his college career as a walk-on. He earned a scholarship under Joe Tiller in 1997 and went on to be a three-year starter. 

Conard played in all 37 games during his final three seasons, finishing with 118 total tackles, six pass breakups and four interceptions. 

"Coach Conard is a former player here at Purdue, someone that has worn the Old Gold and Black and understands what it means to be a Boilermaker," Walters said. "On the recruiting trail, when we had this position open, I can't tell you how many phone calls I got about his ability to recruit the state of Indiana. 

"Being from here, putting sweat equity into this program, I'm excited about his passion and hunger to get to know and develop the players in his room."

Joe Dineen

Outside Linebackers

Dineen is another assistant that is joining Walters after coaching at Illinois. He helped Kane with coaching the linebackers for the Fighting Illini. 

As a college player, Dineen was an All-American linebacker at Kansas who played from 2014 to 2018. He was also an All-Big 12 First Team selection and a three-time team captain. He twice led the NCAA in solo tackles per game and was the Big 12 leader in tackles and tackles-for-loss.

Dineen was also recognized as a Senior Class All-American, a Ronnie Lott IMPACT Award and Jason Witten Man of the Year semifinalist, and a nominee for the Allstate Good Works Team.

"Coach Dineen is a bright, young coach," Walters said. "He reminds me a lot of myself at that age, very in tuned to the details as a student of the game. Joe is a great people person, highly competitive, even-keeled in nature and will really push to get the most out of his position group."

Seth Doege

Tight Ends

Like Harrell, Doege also played quarterback at Texas Tech during his college career. He spent three years with Bowling in multiple roles, with the first as a graduate assistant, before landing at USC.

He was an offensive quality control analyst for the Trojans in 2019 and 2020 before being promoted to tight ends coach in 2021. Doege spent last season as an offensive analyst with Ole Miss. 

"When I got a chance to meet Coach Doege during the interview process, I felt like I had known him for 10 years," Walters said. "He loves football and obviously has a quarterback background, but he has been really creative with his use of the tight ends. I am excited for him to bring those ideas from Ole Miss to our system at Purdue, and his knowledge of the game is unmatched."

Brick Haley

Defensive Line

Haley comes to West Lafayette with 31 years of coaching experience, both in college football and in the NFL. His stops include Texas, LSU, Clemson, Arkansas and the Chicago Bears, among others. 

During the 2022 season, Haley served as the Minnesota defensive line coach. He also coached in the same role at Missouri for four years, alongside Walters, and also held the title of senior associate head coach.

"Coach Haley brings experience and continuity within the staff," Walters said. "He has developed defensive linemen unlike anybody I have seen. His knowledge of footwork and technique, the way he demands the best from his players, it's something that we are really excited about on the defensive side of the ball."

Matt Mattox 

Offensive Line

Mattox joins the Purdue football program after spending the last three seasons at UTSA. He was elevated to the co-offensive coordinator for the Roadrunners in 2022 following two years as the team's run game coordinator and offensive line coach.

In his 18-year coaching career, Mattox has also made stops at McNeese State, USF, Texas, Tulsa, Bowling Green, Eastern Illinois, Coffeyville Community College and Butler Community College in Kansas.

"Coach Mattox is the coolest offensive line coach I have ever come across," Walters said. "He really understands the game and how to be innovative in both pass protection and on the ground running the football. We are excited about him getting to know and develop the offensive line room, helping bring a unique energy and style of play to Purdue."

Grant O'Brien

Safeties

O'Brien is another member of Purdue's coaching staff that is coming to West Lafayette from the Illinois football program. He joined the Fighting Illini after spending three years at Missouri as a defensive quality control analyst.

During his playing career, O'Brien was a defensive back and special teams contributor at Northern Arizona University. 

"Coach O'Brien is a high character, high IQ individual, and he cares about his players unlike anyone I have ever been around," Walters said. "He understands conceptually what we are trying to accomplish on defense. He is a diligent worker that will add tremendous value to our staff."

Kiero Small

Director of Strength and Conditioning

Small previously served as a strength and conditioning assistant at Michigan, mentoring 13 NFL Draft picks, 12 First Team All-Big Ten honorees and 10 All-Americans during his time with the Wolverines. 

Before joining the college ranks, Small was a 2014 seventh-round NFL Draft pick at fullback and spent two seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Brown and Baltimore Ravens. 

"We are very excited about the energy and intensity that Kiero brings to the program," Walters said. "Ben Herbert at Michigan is one of the most respected strength coaches in the business, so I am eager to see Kiero's personal spin on that style of strength program and that philosophy. 

"He will be relationship driven, he will dive into the sciences behind strength and conditioning, and he will provide us a competitive edge to our locker room that will show up on Saturdays."

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