Purdue’s loses Co-Defensive coordinator to in-conference rival.
In a surprise move, Purdue’s safeties/Co-Defensive coordinator announced he was leaving Purdue for an assistant position at Penn State (presumably in the secondary). Coach Poindexter has already been removed from Purdue’s official coaching staff roster.
— AJ Poindexter (@aj_poindexter) February 22, 2021
What It Means for Coach Poindexter
On paper, this is a step down for Poindexter, who is nominally Purdue’s Co-Defensive coordinator. I don’t expect him to maintain that designation on the Penn State staff. At the same point, Coach Brohm had two opportunities to promote his Co-Defensive coordinator to the the full time job, and both times he went another direction.
He was Purdue’s top paid non-coordinator coach, but he’ll probably get a bump in pay at Penn State. He’s getting 460K a year at Purdue, and while Penn State doesn’t release individual coaches salaries for some reason, they rank 10th in the NCAA in overall assistant compensation.
On top of a potential pay increase, this should be a nice reset after several tumultuous years for Purdue’s defensive staff. Coach Brohm has been less than enthused with the performance of his defense and has shown that displeasure by routinely hiring and firing defensive coaches. Coach Poindexter was the only position coach to avoid that fate over the last 4 years, but you’ve got to think that played a factor in his decision.
What It Means for Purdue
And then there were none….
The departure of Poindexter marks the departure of the final member of Coach Brohm’s original Purdue defensive staff.
Poindexter was considered Purdue’s best defensive coach over Coach Brohm’s tenure. Losing him this late into 2021 season preparation to a conference rival isn’t ideal. He’s not only a talented on-field coach, but was also Purdue’s most effective recruiter.
He especially excelled in recruiting Virginia and the Northeast. He was listed as the primary recruiter for:
Tirek Murphy – 4* RB – New York
Kyle Bilodeau – 3* TE – Virginia
Greg Hudgins – 3* DE – Washington D.C.
Cam Allen – 3* S/CB – Virginia
Sanoussi Kane – 3* S – New Jersey
DaMarcus Mitchell – 3* LB – JuCo
For the 2022 class, he was listed as the primary recruiter for 4* Brebeuf Jesuit defensive end Joe Strickland. Purdue was gaining some traction with Strickland, and was in his top 4 with Indiana, Michigan, and Penn State. Losing Poindexter to Penn State probably doesn’t help Purdue’s chances.
To compound this problematic departure is the timing. It’s going to be hard to find a replacement for Poindexter this late in the coaching carousel game. It appears Purdue is a bit cash strapped at the moment, and compensation for assistant coaches is one place they are looking to save money. I would be surprised if they go after a coach on another P5 roster. In terms of spring practice, expect Coach English to handle the entire secondary while Coach Brohm looks for a replacement. Special Teams coordinator Marty Biagi has some experience coaching defensive backs, and could help out with corners until a replacement for Poindexter can be found.
For the fiscally conscientious members of this blog, this should save Purdue some money. Poindexter was making 460K, and I doubt his replacement will make more than 250-300K. Purdue has managed to save money on pretty much every defensive hire this offseason (Texas will be covering a large portion of Coach Hagan’s salary).
Other than that, well, I suppose Purdue’s defense wasn’t great with Poindexter, so hey, maybe things will improve with some new blood?