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January 7, 2013

New defensive coordinator lined up

Florida State assistant coach Greg Hudson will be named Purdue's new defensive coordinator, GoldandBlack.com has learned.

Hudson, the Seminoles' linebackers coach and assistant head coach the past three seasons, was part of a Florida State defensive staff that oversaw a unit that ranked second nationally this season in total defense, allowing just 253.8 yards per game and an national-low 3.89 yards per play, according to NCAA statistics.

The 45-year-old Hudson brings a wealth of experience to new Purdue coach Darrell Hazell's defensive staff, having held coordinator positions before at Minnesota and East Carolina.

The Cincinnati native and Notre Dame alumnus was Glen Mason's linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator from 2001-04, serving as coordinator for the final three of those seasons. In those three seasons, the Gophers were 25-13 and 3-0 in bowl games.

He moved to ECU to serve as coordinator and linebackers from 2005-2009. The Pirates recorded winning records the last four of those seasons and made four postseason appearances.

Hudson coached at Cincinnati from 1997-2000, coaching tight ends and the offensive line in '97; running backs in '98; and linebackers in 1999 and 2000, while also serving as assistant head coach to then-coach Rick Minter.

From 1994-96, Hudson served as Connecticut's offensive line coach after a season spent as a graduate assistant at Notre Dame in 1993 under Lou Holtz, for whom he played linebacker.

Hudson's hiring is a key piece of a Purdue staff that seems to be taking shape as Hazell's now moved to the Boilermakers full-time with Kent State's season over.

Hudson will not coach linebackers at Purdue, as Kent State assistant coach Marcus Freeman is known to be coming to the Boilermakers to fill that role.

Kent State defensive coordinator Jon Heacock is known to be joining Hazell at Purdue, as well, as a position coach. He's coached both the defensive line and secondary in his career and could fill either role on the Boilermaker staff.

On offense, Virginia Tech wide receivers coach Kevin Sherman and Kent State running backs coach Jafar Williams are known to be parts of Hazell's first Boilermaker staff, as well.

No hirings have been made official.

It does not appear likely that any current Purdue assistants will be retained, GoldandBlack.com has learned. Several have already landed in new jobs.

Assistant coaches Patrick Higgins and Cornell Jackson - Purdue's outgoing receivers and running backs coaches - are known to have accepted jobs at Texas-El Paso. Offensive line coach Shawn Clark is expected to fill the same role at Kent State under new coach Paul Haynes.

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