WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue head football coach Darrell Hazell announced the first six members of his coaching staff, bringing Jon Heacock, Marcus Freeman and Jafar Williams over from his previous stop at Kent State, and adding Jim Bollman from Boston College, Greg Hudson from Florida State and Kevin Sherman from Virginia Tech. Hazell also announced that Tommy Cook will serve as his supervisor of football operations and Doug Davis as the senior associate director of sports performance. Cook and Davis held their respective positions under Hazell at Kent State.
Casey Nuss, who served as the supervisor for football operations the previous three seasons, will move into a role that works with developing high school relations.
Greg Hudson - Defensive Coordinator
Hudson, who will serve as Hazell's defensive coordinator at Purdue, was the assistant head coach and linebackers coach with the Seminoles the previous three seasons. While in Tallahassee, Hudson helped improve FSU from 108th in total defense the year prior to his arrival to second among all Football Bowl Subdivision teams this past season (only BCS national champion Alabama had a higher rated defense in 2012). Christian Jones, a second team All-ACC linebacker in 2012, finished the season with a team-high 95 total tackles, including 48 solo stops and seven tackles for loss. From 2009 to 2011, Hudson charge Nigel Bradham became the first Seminole in 20 years to lead the team in tackles for three consecutive seasons. Bradham was selected in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. Hudson joined the Florida State staff after spending five seasons as the defensive coordinator at East Carolina. He also has extensive ties to the Midwest, having served as the defensive coordinator at Minnesota (2000-04), as an assistant at Cincinnati (1997-2000) and a graduate assistant at his alma mate,r Notre Dame (1993). Hudson has coached in the postseason in 13 of his 22 years as a collegiate coach (12 bowls, one NCAA Division III tournament), including FSU's 31-10 win over Northern Illinois in the 2013 Discover Orange Bowl on New Year's Day. Hudson graduated from Notre Dame in 1990, where he played linebacker for the Fighting Irish and catcher on the baseball team. He added a master's degree from the University of Redlands in 2000.
Quoting Coach Hazell - "Greg brings a high level of energy and expertise to our defense. He is an extremely bright coach that proven the ability to stop multiple offensive schemes in a number of the top conferences. His passion for improvement, wealth of football knowledge and vast recruiting skills to bring in top talent makes him a great fit for our staff at Purdue."
Jim Bollman - Offensive Line
Bollman joins the Purdue staff after spending last season as the offensive line coach/running game coordinator at Boston College and the previous 11 years at Ohio State as the Buckeyes' offensive coordinator and line coach. A veteran of 36 years of coaching on the collegiate level, Bollman has taken part in 17 bowl games, including three BCS national championships. He was a member of the 2002 Ohio State coaching staff that became the first FBS program in history to finish 14-0 while winning the national championship with a 31-24 victory over Miami in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl. Under Bollman's offensive direction, OSU quarterback Troy Smith captured the 2006 Heisman Trophy and also was feted with the Walter Camp Award, Davey O'Brien Award, AP Player of the Year, Sporting News Player of the Year and Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year his senior season. While at OSU, Bollman also mentored 15 linemen that went on to make NFL rosters, and he has worked with 29 overall players that have played professionally during his coaching career. He has worked on the coaching staffs of Jim Tressel (Ohio State), Dick Jauron (Chicago Bears), Ray Rhodes (Philadelphia Eagles), Nick Saben (Michigan State), George Welch (Virginia) and Tom Reed (Miami (Ohio) and N.C. State).
Quoting Coach Hazell -"I've had an opportunity to work closely with Coach Bollman for a number of years at Ohio State and I know he's among the top line coaches in the nation. With his background, expertise and proven track record, he has the credentials that matter with players and recruits."
Marcus Freeman - Linebackers
Freeman enters his first season at Purdue after also having spent the previous two years under Hazell at Kent State as the linebackers coach. Under Freeman's direction, inside linebacker Luke Batton earned second team All-MAC honors in 2012 after finishing with 143 total tackles, including 80 solo stops. Outside linebacker C.J. Malauulu was a third team all-conference selection in 2012, recording 72 total tackles. The pair swapped places on the all-conference team in 2011, with Malauulu garnering second team recognition and Batton third team. Freeman served the 2010 season as a graduate assistant coach at his alma mater, Ohio State, and the Buckeyes went 12-1 with a victory in the Sugar Bowl. A four-year letterwinner for the Buckeyes from 2004 to 2008, he earned second team All-Big Ten honors in 2008 while helping to lead OSU to four conference titles, three BCS bowls and two trips to the national title game during his career. Freeman, who played in the 2009 Senior Bowl, was a fifth-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears, and spent time with the Bears, Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans before a medical condition ended his pro career. A 2007 Ohio State graduate, he earned Academic All-Big Ten and College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District honors. In 2011, he earned a master's degree in sports management from OSU. A Parade All-America honoree, he graduated from Wayne High School in Huber Heights, Ohio.
Quoting Coach Hazell - "Marcus is perhaps the top up-and-coming coach in the profession. His teaching method and style is unique and exclusive to him. The current linebackers and the players he recruits will form a connectivity and bond right away with Coach Freeman."
Jon Heacock - Cornerbacks
Heacock joins the Boilermaker staff after spending the two previous seasons with Hazell at Kent State. Serving as the defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach, Heacock's Golden Flashes forced 38 takeaways this past season, second among all FBS schools, to help lead to a FBS-best 1.62 turnover margin for the year. The Flashes finished in the upper half of the Mid-American Conference in nearly every defensive statistical category in 2012, including second in rushing and fourth in scoring defense. In his first season at Kent State, Heacock's defense was seventh in the FBS in fumbles recovered and turnover margin, 10th in turnovers gained, 18th in tackles for loss and 21st in total defense. Prior to joining KSU in 2011, Heacock spent the previous nine seasons as the head coach at Youngstown State, which included a 2006 run to the national semifinals in the Football Championship Subdivision. He was named the Gateway Conference Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2006 and ended his tenure with a 60-44 overall record. In addition to serving as the head coach at YSU, Heacock also served as the Penguins' defensive coordinator for one year (2000) and as an assistant coach for six seasons (1991-96), which included Division I-AA national championships in 1991, 1993 and 1994. He also brings Big Ten experience, having served as the defensive coordinator at Indiana from 1997 to 1999 and as a graduate assistant under legendary head coach Bo Schembechler at Michigan. Heacock played football with Hazell at Muskingum College, graduating in 1983 with a degree in health and physical education.
Quoting Coach Hazell - "John is a master at teaching the game. The players under his direction will understand the concepts and schemes of the defense so well that they will be an extension of the coaching staff on the field. His enthusiasm and professionalism will have an immediate impact on our team and help us excel right away. He has recruited the Midwest and Florida with phenomenal results."
Kevin Sherman - Wide Receivers
Sherman joins the Purdue staff after spending the previous seven years at Virginia Tech as wide receivers coach. Under his guide in 2012, Tech averaged 230.9 yards receiving per game, with senior Marcus Davis leading the way with 51 receptions for 953 yards and five touchdowns. Davis finished seventh in the Atlantic Coast Conference in receiving yards per game (73.3) and had four games over 100 yards. In Blacksburg, Sherman also mentored standouts Jarrett Boykin and Danny Coale, the top two receivers in Hokies' history in terms of receptions and receiving yards. Both starring at Tech from 2008 to 2011, Boykin finished his collegiate career with 184 receptions for 2,884 yards and 18 touchdowns, while Coale recorded 165 catches for 2,658 yards and eight scores. During his time at Virginia Tech, the Hokies went a combined 60-22 with seven bowl appearances, including four BCS bowl bids (2007 Orange, 2008 Orange, 2010 Orange and 2011 Sugar). Prior to Virginia Tech, Sherman spent five seasons at Wake Forest University (wide receivers), four at Ohio University (wide receivers), four at Virginia Military Institute (recruiting coordinator), two at Methodist College (wide receivers) and one at his alma mater Ferrum College (student assistant). He graduated from Ferrum in 1992, after serving as the team captain of the football team and being elected as the team MVP as a senior in 1990.
Quoting Coach Hazell - "Great coach, mentor and person. Coach Sherman has a real passion to make everyone around him better. His expertise and knowledge of the wide receiver position places him among the top of the coaches in the profession. He is a tremendous recruiter that has excelled in assessing and assembling the top prospects east of the Mississippi River."
Jafar Williams - Running Backs
Williams joins the Boilermakers from his running backs position at Kent State where in 2012 he coached one the nation's top rushing tandem in Dri Archer and Traylon Durham. Under Williams' direction, the duo combined to rush for 2,745 yards and 30 touchdowns in 14 games. Archer, who averaged 9.0 yards per carry, led Kent State with 1,429 yards rushing on 159 carries, while also hauling in a team-high 39 receptions for 561 yards with four touchdowns and returning 16 kickoffs for 591 yards and three additional scores. He was named an Associated Press, Walter Camp, ESPN.com and Sporting News All-American following the regular season. Durham finished with 1,316 yards rushing on 276 carries with 14 touchdowns. Williams joined the Kent State staff in 2011 after spending one season as the quality control graduate assistant at Northwestern in 2010, one year as wide receivers coach at Howard in 2009 and two as wide receivers coach at Illinois State in 2007 and 2008. He got his start in coach at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa., in 2005. A standout wide receiver at Maryland from 2000 to 2003, he finished his collegiate career with 90 receptions for 1,301 yards and spent time with the Washington Redskins before embarking on his coaching career. He graduated from Maryland in 2003 with a degree in health and human performance.
Quoting Coach Hazell - "Jafar will elevate the play of our running backs to the highest competitive level across the country. He has a unique ability to combine his incredible knowledge of the running and passing game to aid in the development of elite players out of the backfield. He has recruited Ohio and Pennsylvania with superb results."
Tommy Cook - Supervisor of Football Operations
Cook will begin his first season at Purdue and his second overall under Hazell as supervisor of football operations. Prior to Kent State, he spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Kentucky. Cook was a wide receiver at UK from 2000 to 2005. His career totals included 74 catches for 951 yards and six touchdowns. He also assisted coach Joker Phillips in coaching the wide receivers during the 2004 season while recovering from an injury. During his playing career, Cook earned a place on the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll, was named to the UK Athletics Society of Character and was chosen for the ESPN "All-Mayday Team" in honor of players who show extraordinary toughness and determination. Having earned his bachelor's degree in kinesiology in 2004 from UK, Cook is completing a master's degree in sport leadership. Prior to following his dream of becoming a Division I football coach, Cook spent four and a half years in the business sector in surgical sales.
Quoting Coach Hazell - "The players and people around Purdue football will love Tommy Cook. His ability to get things done with precision and in a timely fashion is unmatched. He has the perfect disposition and demeanor for the position and will be a tremendous asset with his problem solving and solution finding attributes."
Doug Davis - Senior Associate Director of Sports Performance
Davis joins the Boilermakers, where he will serve as a senior associate director of sports performance under director Duane Carlisle, after spending the previous two seasons with Hazell at Kent State. Davis spent the previous four years as a strength assistant at Ohio State University where Hazell was the wide receivers coach. He arrived at OSU as an assistant strength coach in January of 2007, before moving to strength and conditioning coordinator in May of 2008. He designed and implemented the year-round strength, speed and conditioning program for the Buckeyes. He specifically trained the Ohio State wide receivers and defensive backs on a daily basis and also prepared a number of Buckeyes entering the NFL Draft. Specifically, he coordinated the training of seven Buckeyes selected in the 2009 draft, including first-round picks Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Wells. Prior to his stint at Ohio State, Davis was a strength and conditioning coach at the University of South Florida, working with the football team and the sprinters, hurdlers, and jumpers on the Bulls' track and field team. Davis is Strength and Conditioning Coach Certified (SCCC) by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association, has a USA Weightlifting Club Coach Certification and holds certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES) and from the National Association of Speed and Explosion. Davis earned his bachelor's degree from Ohio Dominican University in 2004 and his master's degree in exercise science from California University of Pennsylvania in 2009.
Quoting Coach Hazell - "Known to be one of the best strength coaches in the country, Doug is a phenomenal motivator with a wealth of old and new training knowledge. He has a great relationship with the players he trains and gets every ounce out of each one of his athletes. He trains guys to be game-ready and to win football games."