WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue Football and new head coach Ryan Walters announced the first hires for next year’s coaching staff on Tuesday. Serve as defensive coordinator.
Harrell has spent the past seven seasons as an offensive coordinator and quarterback coach, including last year with West Virginia. He spent five years as a professional in the Canadian Football League and the National Football League, having served as a starting quarterback for his Texas Heisman Trophy finalist.
“I played against Graham and always respected his knowledge and the way he approached the game of football,” Walters said in a release. “When I got into this profession, I was really keeping an eye on his career. He is very innovative in his passing game and creative in his running game. I look forward to leading our offense at Purdue.”
Last season, the Mountaineers averaged 227.5 passing yards and 171.5 rushing yards per game for 30.6 points per game. In Harrell’s three years at USC, the Trojans have elevated his passing offense to the highest level in the nation. When he took over play calling in his 2019, they set program records for total passing yards (4,365), completion percentage (71.0%), completions (365), and attempts (514).
Prior to joining the Boilermakers, Harrell’s offense was ranked 17th in the nation, averaging 298.3 passing yards per game.
Prior to his three-year stint at USC, Harrell helped the North Texas offense rank among the top 25 nationally in consecutive seasons.
Harrell played for Texas Tech from 2004-2008 before being undrafted. He spent a brief stint with the CFL’s Saskatchewan and the NFL’s Green He Bay with the Rough Riders and the New York Jets.
As for Kane, he played for the University of Kansas from 2002-2005 before joining the Jayhawks as a student assistant. For the past 12 years, he has been on the sidelines as his coach or his defensive coordinator.
scroll to continue
Kane worked closely with Walters while serving as assistant head coach and outside linebacker coach for the last two years in Illinois, as well as defensive coordinator for Fighting Illini.
“I was very excited by his ability to attract Kane to Purdue,” said Walters. His position group has improved steadily over the two years we have spent together in Illinois.He has been the coordinator for the past two visits.He is ready to lead the entire unit in the Big Ten. it’s finished.”
Two seasons prior to his time in Illinois, Kane spent three years as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at SMU. He joined the staff in his 2018 season and helped the Mustangs lead the nation with his 3.92 sacks, and he also recorded 8.5 tackles per game.
Prior to his move to SMU, Kane spent a second stint in Northern Illinois in 2016-2017, serving as the team’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. From 2011 to his 2014, he spent time coaching tight ends, fullbacks, linebackers and specials for his team.
In 2017, they ranked 26th in the nation in total defense, led the nation in 8.8 tackles for losses, and were second in 3.31 sacks. Northern Illinois ranked 7th in the nation for yards allowed per play with just 4.52 yards, behind Alabama, Clemson, Wisconsin, Washington, Ohio and Michigan.
Kane spent one season as a linebackers coach at his alma mater. After he was a student assistant with the Jayhawks, he was an alumni assistant and defensive quality control coach at the University of Wisconsin.
With both offensive and defensive coordinators at Purdue, Walters will continue to have assistant coaches on staff ahead of the 2023 college football season.
Stay up to date on all things Boilermakers Country by liking and following our Facebook page. Sports Illustrated/FanNation’s Purdue Boilermakers.
You can also follow DJ Fezler at: @DJ Fezler on Twitter.