Purdue's Hope makes several staff changes

Danny Hope has made several changes to Purdue's coaching staff after the team endured its third consecutive losing season, the second under his watch as head coach.

The big move is Gary Emanuel now will serve as the team's only defensive coordinator. Emanuel shared the coordinator title in 2010 with Donn Landholm, who has overseen the Boilermakers' defense the last two seasons. Landholm has been demoted to a position coach, "possibly" working with the linebackers, according to a news release.

Emanuel, a Purdue assistant from 1997-2004, did a good job with the Boilers' defensive line this season. Defensive end Ryan Kerrigan was a unanimous All-America selection and earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors, and the Boilers led the Big Ten in both sacks (33) and tackles for loss (91), while improving against the run.

"As last season progressed, it became clear that coach Emanuel was the face of our defense," Hope said. "He was hired with the mandate to improve our run defense, and we accomplished that while becoming a more physical unit overall. At the same time, I want coach Landholm to work with a specific position, and he has proven experience coaching linebackers."

Purdue lost linebackers coach Mark Hagen to rival Indiana last month. The Boilers also have lost receivers coach Brian Rock to Kent State, where he'll serve as offensive coordinator.

Hope doesn't expect to fill either position until after the AFCA convention next week in Dallas.

"I want to find two difference-makers, one of each side of the ball," Hope said. "On offense, we will look for someone to coach the receivers. On defense, I am comfortable with Gary coaching our defensive line, Donn coaching our linebackers and Lou [Anarumo] coaching our secondary, so we will look for the best coach available to fill in wherever he fits best."

Hope also added the title of assistant head coach for Gary Nord, the team's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach the past two seasons.

I like the Emanuel promotion. Purdue should be strong on offense in 2011, but improving the defense without Kerrigan poses a big challenge.