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Purdue finalizes staff with DeMontie Cross

Purdue's coaching staff for 2011 appears set as the team on Tuesday announced the hiring of DeMontie Cross as linebackers coach.

Cross spent the past five seasons with the Buffalo Bills, serving as assistant linebackers coach from 2006-09 and inside linebackers coach in 2010. He replaces Mark Hagen, who left last month to join Indiana's staff.

"He has coached linebackers at the highest levels of football, both professionally and collegiately," Purdue coach Danny Hope said in a prepared statement. "He also has secondary experience and, with pass defense, it's a real shot in the arm to have someone who has worked with both areas. DeMontie is a high-energy coach with a passion for the game. We have some very talented linebackers returning for the 2011 season, and I know they will enjoy getting to know him and working with him going forward."

Donn Landholm, demoted from his defensive coordinator post after the season, will assist Cross with the outside linebackers and take on additional recruiting responsibilities, according to a news release. Gary Emanuel will serve as Purdue's sole defensive coordinator while continuing to work with the defensive line.

Cross, an All-Big 12 safety at Missouri, brings a good deal of experience coaching linebackers to Purdue. He spent five seasons as outside linebackers coach at Iowa State and tutored several Big Ten products with the Bills, including former Penn State star Paul Posluszny and former Purdue defensive end Akin Ayodele.

Cross inherits a group that loses Jason Werner but brings back some experienced options (Joe Holland, Dwayne Beckford, Chris Carlino) as well as promising freshman Will Lucas.