New Purdue coach Ryan Walters opens up about life in
8:00 AM ET Pete ThamelESPN INDIANAPOLIS– At the NFL integrate last week, brand-new Purdue coach Ryan Walters sat
down with ESPN to go over the energy jolt, challenges and modifications inherent to taking control of a new job. He’s residing in Jeff Brohm’s old home– leasing it from the school, which purchased it– while laying the groundwork to upgrade Purdue.Walters is determined the job isn’t a reconstruct, thinking about Purdue won 17 games the past 2 years and caught the Big
Ten West last season. He’s bullish at what the job can become– “Why can’t you win at Purdue?” Walters dove in with ESPN on whatever from the realities of NIL to what he learned from Bret Bielema to his high school QB crush on Drew Brees coming full circle and early impressions of quarterback Hudson Card.ESPN: What’s the change resembled to the front-facing part of the task? You remained in the spotlight prior to as a player, assistant and coordinator, however this has to be different.Ryan Walters: It hasn’t been too much of an adjustment. I’ve always been either the point guard or the quarterback or the captain of the group. So it’s been comfortable for me to stand
up and speak in front of individuals. I’m comfy in my own skin. I’ve constantly been silently confident. Therefore that part hasn’t been a change. I think the part that’s been the greatest change is just the absence of privacy, people recognizing you now. Like you know, for me, I’m the same person I was before I signed a piece of paper.Editor’s Picks 2 Related ESPN: Give me an example of that, please.RW: Walking into a dining establishment and it’s “Hey coach.” I have actually taken a thousand photos, which is fun and flattering, you have to be really familiar with your environments, and it’s simply a little bit of
adjusting. Nobody truly speaks about that part about being a coach. You get prepared for the truth that your phone is going to blow up. And it’s going to be really hard to state no to individuals that you extremely regard and regard in this profession. But nobody, nobody prepped me for all the pictures being taken.ESPN: I know your household hasn’t moved yet, however any areas that you’ve found in West Lafayette?RW: There’s a couple of spots that I’ve found. The East End Grill is awesome. They’ve got great food there. The Tap is amazing. RedSeven is awesome.ESPN: Is there a sandwich or burger called after you yet?RW: Not yet. I got ta win some games first.ESPN: Let’s return chronological here.
Your daddy was a player at Colorado when you were growing up, and those were your developmental years. What are
a few of your earliest memories?RW: I keep in mind viewing my dad at practice and keep in mind running around the locker room and all the guys that were connected with that team. I just encountered Vance Joseph in the lobby, and he offered me a big hug. He stated, “Hey, me and Eric Bieniemy are having supper tonight. You ought to come hang out.”Those men are all still tight. Alfred Williams, I talk with regularly. Just that camaraderie is kind of what I, what I keep in mind. You go through a profession and you belong of groups that achieved success and they had that very same kind of camaraderie and groups that I have actually been a part of that weren’t effective, they didn’t have that. And so that is certainly an environment and a chemistry that I’m trying to create.ESPN: I have actually always seemed like a million small choices from a head coach help form the identity of a group. Almost 3 months into this job, what are some early and intentional things you have actually done to assist form the brand-new identity of Purdue football?RW: I got employed at an awkward time. There’s still a personnel in place. There’s still a [bowl] game to be played and still practices to be had. Therefore I’m there, but not actually there. I’m at practice, however I’m not involved in practice. So what I actually did was, I dove into what was going on off the field. … I dove into the different departments that were touching the kids every day and making sure that their vision was the very same as mine. We have actually made changes to the heads of certain departments. We have actually changed a few of the way the players’scholarship money is calculated [cost of attendance, and so on.] I understand what we were getting at Illinois, and at Purdue the players were getting far less. Therefore, we just took a look at the why’s and where it ranked within the Big 10. And we were able to make modifications to where men are getting about $800 more a month.ESPN: You worked with Kiero Small as your director of strength and conditioning. He’s worked under Tank Wright at Illinois, and both are disciples of Michigan’s Ben Herbert, who was under Bret Bielema at Wisconsin and Arkansas. What have you seen so far?RW: I believe those 3 men are the very best in business and for us, we believed it was essential to offer Kiero 8 weeks of workouts. If you think about it, when you’re preparing yourself for a season, you got 8 weeks in the summertime, and after that you struck fall camp. I understand there’s different approaches of why you begin spring ball when you do it. However for me personally, in our program, I wish to get men ready to go play football before you begin playing football. Therefore Kiero made fantastic strides with our guys. They remain in shape today. For Kiero to have eight weeks to deal with the men to get ’em prepared for five weeks of spring ball is going to be substantial for us progressing. Coach Ryan Walters said he’s thrilled about previous Texas quarterback Hudson Card’s future at Purdue. AP Photo/Eric Gay ESPN: We have actually seen Hudson Card in photos at Texas. You’ve most likely only seen him in exercises. What are your very first impressions?RW: What I have actually seen up until now is what you would intend to see from a high quality quarterback. He has actually put his head down and gone to work. He’s method more athletic than you think. And individuals in the program offer him credit for being extremely cerebral
and simply getting the playbook. He’s got a calm, positive, poise to him, which’s what you desire in a quarterback. So it’ll be fascinating to see this spring, him fight it out with the remainder of the quarterbacks on the roster. From what I’ve seen, he’s as marketed
, if not more. And I’m thrilled about his future at Purdue.ESPN: Can’t do a Q&A with the new Purdue coach without a Drew Brees question. I understand you both appeared on ESPN’s “College GameDay”prior to the championship game. Had you engaged with him much before getting the job?RW: I played quarterback in high school. And so I’m a sophomore in high school and I’m starting university quarterback at Grandview High School [in Colorado] And my family is all from Los Angeles originally. And so we would go home to L.A. every break we had. Christmas vacation, we’re in Los Angeles, we go to
Disneyland and Drew is there for the Rose Bowl parade. And I’m looking at him, I’m like, that’s Drew. Like that is exactly who I want to be. That’s what I wish to do. And after that you fast-forward, and after that after my press conference when I get worked with, I get a call and it’s Drew Brees! I’m like … this is Drew Brees calling me! You understand? So it absolutely came cycle. However he’s been awesome. He’s absolutely very proud of the brotherhood that is Boilermaker country and is a supporter for Purdue. He has been amazing just as an ambassador and very available.ESPN: There’s been approximately 100 days, not quite, because you were hired. What’s that time been like?RW: It hasn’t been as chaotic or chaotic as I believe people may think. And I think it’s even if of the truth that I’ve been prepared, and I have actually been mentored and tutored by some people that have actually had success. You understand, I provide a great deal of credit to Bret Bielema and what he was able to pour into me and how he permitted me to grow at Illinois. He knew what sort of goals and goals I had, and he took time out of his day to [coach me] Therefore, you understand, that is, that is something I will forever be appreciative of.
Things like roster decisions, staff decisions you know, workers and department heads. He would bring me in and state,”You understand, these are the concerns I’m having. This is how you need to think of this.”And a great deal of times he would, he would draw back to his days with Barry Alvarez. When I first fulfilled Barry Alvarez at the Big Ten coaches meetings, I felt like I knew him due to the fact that I ‘d heard so much about him.ESPN: You’ve been bullish here about what Purdue can end up being. Is this a place you believe you can construct into a national title contender down the road?RW: I do. I believe it’s going to be effort and it’s going to be a lot of commitment from the various individuals that are related to the program. I believe it’s got a possibility to be an actually unique place.I’m not going to sit here and be shy about the fact that NIL is real. And we got some reaching perform in that element. However if you look at the scholastic resources you have, you take a look at the conference that you remain in, the facilities, you take a look at the area … you have actually got high level talent that is near this place. Why can’t you win at Purdue? Like, why not? I believe with the administrative support and school support for the program and a dedication and a fan base that is, is going to back you a hundred percent. I believe if you get the ideal
individuals in location with the right resources, why not? I believe in the state of Indiana, high school football is underrated. And this 2024 class is truly, really special in the state. And we have actually got a chance to get a number of
those guys on school. If they stay home, watch out.