Purdue Football Coach Jeff Brohm Announces Structure for his Defensive Staff

The Purdue football program will have three co-defensive coordinators for the 2021 season. Coach Jeff Brohm announced the full structure of the defensive staff Wednesday and confirmed that Brad Lambert will be the play-caller.
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue football coach Jeff Brohm announced the structure of his defensive staff on Wednesday, alongside additions to the recruiting and graduate assistant  positions. 

Defensive Staff


Brad Lambert 

Co-Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers

Ron English

Co-Defensive Coordinator, Secondary

Mark Hagen

Co-Defensive Coordinator, Defensive Line

James Adams


Marty Biagi

Special Teams Coordinator, Defensive Assistant

“I am really looking forward to working with this group in 2021,” Brohm said in a release. “When we brought these coaches together, it was our goal is to have a collaborative process where the entire staff contributes to the development of our defensive philosophy and scheme. We believe this structure fits that theme.”

Brohm confirmed that Brad Lambert, who spent the previous two seasons as the defensive coordinator at Marshall, will call the plays for the defense on game days. He was the head coach at Charlotte for eight seasons and served as the defensive coordinator for three years at Wake Forest.

Ron English, who also joined the Boilermaker coaching staff this offseason, will serve as the secondary coach while forming the defense with Lambert and Mark Hagen. English was the head coach for five seasons at Eastern Michigan and spent time as a defensive coordinator at Michigan, Louisville and San Jose State. 

Hagen, who previously spent 10 seasons on the coaching staff at Purdue, rejoined the staff to coach the Boilermakers' defensive line while helping Lambert and English as a co-coordinator. He was the assistant head coach at Texas last year, was Indiana's co-defensive coordinator for two seasons and the assistant defensive coordinator for another two. 

Brohm said in a Zoom call the goal was to hire a group of individuals that were tremendous people that wanted to come coach football and do things the right way. 

"I feel like we've added three tremendously experienced coaches that have coached for a long time, that have been head coaches, that have been coordinators, that can really add great value to the program," he said. We just want to make sure in that room there's a full collaboration of ideas that we can put together as a staff moving forward." 

The three co-defensive coordinators, spearheaded by Lambert, will combine their efforts into creating a game plan throughout the week of practice. 

On game day, Brohm expects the collaboration to run smoothly. The defensive staff will operate in a normal capacity with each coach having their own role. 

"It's going to be a weekly sum of all the parts and knowledge of our minds put together," Brohm said.

James Adams is the newest addition to the Boilermaker coaching staff after joining in April. He will coach the cornerbacks this upcoming season after spending one year in a similar role at the U.S. Naval Academy. Before then, he coached for one season with Western Michigan and eight with Charlotte. 

“We are very pleased to have James on our staff,” Brohm said. “He is a rising star in the coaching profession who has already accumulated a great track record in his young career.”

Marty Biagi is the only coach that returns from last season. He will assist Lambert with the linebackers while also serving as the special teams coordinator. 

Recruiting Department


Nate Dennison

Director of Recruiting

Tyson Street

Associate Director of Recruiting

Justin Sinz

Assistant Director of Recruiting 

TJ McCollum

Recruiting Associate

Jontavius Morris

Recruiting Associate

Nate Dennison was promoted to the Director of Recruiting at Purdue in 2020 and has been a member of the staff for three years. 

Tyson Street spent the past three seasons as an assistant recruiting director for the Boilermakers. He has been promoted to an associate director role. 

After three years as an offensive quality control assistant and three as a graduate assistant, Justin Sinz enters a recruiting role. He is a 2014 Purdue graduate and a four-year letter winner for the Boilermakers. 

McCollum earned a position on the recruiting staff after serving as a graduate assistant for the past three years. He played linebacker for Brohm at Western Kentucky and Purdue. 

Jontavius Morris also served as a graduate assistant for three years and now joins the recruiting staff. Morris was a defensive tackle for Brohm at Western Kentucky in 2015. 

Brohm announced that Mason Petrino and former Purdue running back DJ Knox will serve as graduate assistant coaches for the 2021 season. 

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