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Colorado alum Ryan Walters named Purdue head coach

Walters is a rising star in the coaching world.

Michigan State v Illinois Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

In ForeverBuffs news, Ryan Walters has been named the head coach of the Purdue Boilermakers, a major career move for a shining talent.

Walters, 36, is finishing up a stellar season as the defensive coordinator of the Illinois Fighting Illini. He coached a defense that was 1st in the country in points allowed per game, 2nd in the country in total yards and 2nd in yards play. The Illini went 8-4 on the season in large part because Walters designed a defense that might be the best in football.

Before joining Bret Bielema’s staff, Walters was the DC at Missouri under Barry Odom and Eli Drinkwitz, respectively. His defenses were solid, but overachieved compared to the talent disparity between the Tigers and the rest of the SEC. It was great for Walters, who at the time of his hiring was the youngest DC in FBS.

Walters is from Aurora, the son of CU alum and was a three-year starter with the Buffs. He was the heart and soul of the defense and was named Team MVP his final year there in 2008.

There have been rumors for years that Walters would eventually join the CU staff and he was a finalist for the head coaching job this hiring cycle. But the Buffs needed a complete overhaul that would be very risky for a first-time head coach like Walters to take on. This is probably the best case — the Buffs get Deion Sanders, Walters coaches in black and gold in a major conference, and we can keep the dream alive that he will come home at some point.