The search for a new defensive coordinator at Purdue has apparently come to an end. Multiple reports on Monday have connected former UConn head coach and Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco as the new defensive coordinator at Purdue. Various reports also note Diaco will coach the linebackers for the Boilermakers. Diaco had most recently been working at Louisiana Tech as a defensive coordinator.
Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports was the first to report the coaching staff addition at Purdue, via Twitter.
Sources: Purdue is hiring La Tech DC Bob Diaco. He led a high-end unit this season in Ruston, which included No. 2 red zone defense nationally and No. 31 scoring defense.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) December 30, 2019
The addition of Diaco as a defensive coordinator appears to be a solid addition and fit for head coach Jeff Brohm in West Lafayette. Diaco was a Broyles Award winner as the nation’s top assistant coach in 2012 while the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame. Diaco had been with the Fighting Irish under Brian Kelly from 2010 through 2013 after coming to the Irish with Kelly from Cincinnati. After a successful run with the Irish as a coordinator, Diaco took his first head coaching opportunity with UConn. Diaco’s run with the Huksies didn’t have much success and is most known for his attempt to form a rivalry with UCF that became a running joke.
After being removed as head coach after three seasons at UConn, Diaco returned to his roots as a defensive coordinator with Nebraska in 2017. Diaco was let go along with the entire coaching staff in Lincoln after the 2017 season, which sent Diaco to Oklahoma to take on a role as a linebackers coach for the Soooners. Diaco joined the Louisiana Tech program as a defensive coordinator for the 2019 season.
Purdue ranked 13th in the 14-team Big Ten in total defense. Purdue allowed 436.3 yards per game in 2019 a year after allowing over 450 yards per game. The Boilermakers were one of three Big Ten teams to allow at least 30 points per game (Maryland allowed 34.7 ppg, Rutgers allowed 36.7 ppg). Louisiana Tech actually allowed 30 more yards per game in 2019 compared to the 2018 season prior to Diaco’s arrival.