Patrick Higgins was named interim head coach for the Purdue football team Nov. 25 and will coach the Boilermakers in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Higgins is in his second season at Purdue, serving as the wide receivers coach.
Higgins also served as interim offensive coordinator for the final three games of the 2012 regular season in place of Gary Nord, who was sidelined with a severe back injury. Eight different players have double-digit reception totals, led by Antavian Edison (57 for 625 yards and eight touchdowns), O.J. Ross (51 for 425 yards and two touchdowns) and Gary Bush (41 for 360 yards and seven touchdowns). Ross (5.1) and Edison (4.8) rank third and fifth in the Big Ten in receptions per game, while Edison is ninth with 52.1 yards per game. Edison was named honorable mention All-Big Ten.
In 2011, Higgins' wide receiver corps saw eight players finish the season with double-digit receptions, including team leader Justin Siller's 50 catches. Nine different players caught at least one touchdown pass and eight players finished with 100 or more yards receiving. Junior Antavian Edison led the way with 584 yards and three touchdowns.
As BYU's outside receivers coach and special teams coordinator from 2005 to 2010, Higgins helped the Cougars achieve a 56-21 record with six bowl invitations, four bowl victories and two outright Mountain West Conference championships. BYU is one of only seven programs in the nation to win 10 or more games in four of the past five seasons.
During his tenure in Provo, BYU earned top-25 NCAA statistical rankings in different offensive categories on 28 occasions, including 13 times in the top 10. The Cougars led the nation in third-down conversion percentage in 2009 (55.6), finished second in 2008 (55.7) and 2006 (56.0) and were no lower than 21st among all Football Bowl Subdivision teams in the category during his six seasons. BYU was nationally a top six passing offense three times in six years (2005, 2006 and 2008).
Higgins coached current Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Austin Collie, who is the Cougars' all-time receiving leader with 3,255 yards, to All-America honors his junior season.
Higgins went to BYU in 2005 from Louisiana Tech, where he spent one season as the tight ends coach and special teams coordinator. Prior to Louisiana Tech, he spent six seasons at Texas-El Paso as the quarterbacks and receivers coach (1998-1999) and offensive coordinator (2000-2003), the latter posting under Nord. As the offensive coordinator for the Miners, Higgins' offense posted 30 or more points on 16 occasions and 40 or more points eight times.
He helped lead the Miners to the 2000 Crucial.com Humanitarian Bowl against Boise State. UTEP ranked 22nd nationally in scoring offense, 27th nationally in passing offense and 36th in total offense that season. From 1999 through 2001, the UTEP offense averaged over 403 yards per game.
While at UTEP, Higgins worked with 22 All-WAC performers, including Brian Natkin who was an All-American tight end for the Miners. Over his career, Higgins has mentored 15 different players who have gone on to sign NFL contracts.
In 1997, Higgins coached running backs at Columbia University in New York City. From 1994 to 1996, he served as the offensive coordinator and special teams coach at NCAA Division II Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, W.Va., where he was responsible for coaching quarterbacks and receivers. In both 1994 and 1996, the Rams finished ranked among the top-16 Division II teams in total offense.
Higgins was head coach at St. Andrews Prep in Savannah, Ga., in 1993 and also served as head coach at William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa, in 1992. In 1991, he served as the defensive coordinator at Quincy University, and in 1990, he was the offensive coordinator for the Hawks. The previous year, he was the receivers coach at St. Cloud State in St. Cloud, Minn.
A native of Pendleton, N.Y., Higgins (born Nov. 11, 1963) graduated from William Penn University in 1986 with a degree in chemistry and a minor in biology. Higgins twice was honored as a football Academic All-America selection, and was a member of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society. In 1989, he earned a master's degree from St. Cloud State in exercise physiology.
He is married to Karen Laroche.