Phil Elmassian is in the first year of his second stint with the Purdue football program. He rejoined the staff on Feb. 28, 2011, from Illinois State. He had previously worked at Purdue for the 2003 season.
Elmassian (pronounced el-MAY-shun) spent the two previous seasons as the defensive coordinator at Illinois State, and has served in the same capacity at West Virginia, LSU, Boston College and Virginia Tech, as well as the linebackers coach Marshall and defensive backs coach at Nebraska, Wisconsin, Syracuse, Minnesota and East Carolina. He has mentored 22 all-conference players, including two All-Americans, and has coached in 17 bowls in his career.
With Elmassian on staff, the 2003 Boilermakers finished third in the Big Ten in scoring, rushing and total defense and fourth in the league in pass defense. Purdue ranked second in the Big Ten, and 19th in the nation, in pass efficiency defense in 2003, and also ranked 13th nationally in total defense.
During Elmassian's stint at Wisconsin, the Badgers led the nation in scoring defense in 1998 (11.9 points per game) and ranked fifth in 1999 (12.8). They were No. 1 in the Big Ten in scoring defense, total defense (298.1 - 15th nationally) and passing defense (97.9 - fifth nationally) in 1999. Wisconsin became the first Big Ten school to win back-to-back Rose Bowls in 1998 and 1999, defeating the high-powered offenses of UCLA and Stanford. All four of the Badgers' defensive backs earned first team, second team or honorable mention all-conference honors in 1999. Cornerback Jamar Fletcher led the nation in interceptions in 1998 with seven and went on to be named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, earn consensus All-America honors and win the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's outstanding defensive back in 2000.
Elmassian (born April 28, 1951) is a 1974 graduate of William and Mary, where he played defensive back under Lou Holtz. He and his wife, Mary, have three children, Claire, Dylan and Olivia.