According to multiple reports from Carl Reed of 247 Sports and Tom Dienhart of On3.com, Illinois running backs coach Cory Patterson is joining Ryan Walters’ staff at Purdue.
The reports first came out late Thursday morning.
Sources: Illinois Running Back Coach Cory Patterson. Is accepting a position on Ryan Walter’s staff at Purdue.— Carl Reed (@CoachReedLive) December 22, 2022
Patterson had just finished his fifth year as an assistant coach with the Illini, joining Lovie Smith’s staff in 2018 and sticking around with Bret Bielema for his first two years in Champaign.
Patterson, who had also been Illinois’ tight ends coach during his time with Illinois, was previously head coach at Trinity Catholic High School in St. Louis. He built the Illini’s recruiting connection in the Metro East, paying dividends for commits like WR Isaiah Williams.
If the report is true, Walters has now added four staffers from Illinois and brought them to Purdue: Kevin Kane (OLB coach, now DC), Joe Dineen (GA, now OLB coach) and Grant O’Brien (defensive analyst, now secondary coach).
Bielema has some work to do to fill the Illini’s staff, with this news coming just one day after the early signing day.
In a statement Thursday afternoon, Bielema announced Patterson’s departure.
“When I took the job here at the University of Illinois, building a championship staff was one of the first priorities. Since Cory Patterson was retained as running backs coach, he has done a tremendous job. Thank you to Cory and his family for everything they have done for Illinois. As of today, he has taken an opportunity outside of our program. As a program that continues to improve on the field, yesterday on National Signing Day, and with the opportunity ahead of us on January 2nd, transition is part of the process. With any turnover, the opportunity to improve is what excites me the most as we continue to move our program forward. I-L-L.”