LINCOLN — Former Nebraska linebackers coach Ross Els will continue his coaching career inside the Huskers' division — as Purdue's defensive coordinator.
The Boilermakers announced the decision Friday.
"I love what Coach Els brings to our staff," Purdue coach Darrell Hazell said. "He is incredibly detailed, yet very simplistic in philosophy. Our players will be fundamentally sound and play with great enthusiasm. He has been an excellent recruiter at every place he has coached, and I can't wait to see our defense flourish with his addition to our team."
Els did not respond to voice or text messages from The World-Herald.
Els coached NU's linebackers from 2011 to 2014. He was not rehired by Nebraska's new staff after Els' former boss, Bo Pelini, was fired at the end of the 2014 regular season. Els spent the last season as an assistant coach at Lincoln Southwest. It was the senior year for his fraternal twins, Bo and Taylor Els, and Dad was able to see most of their competitions.
"I see him at school, and I see him at home," Taylor, a volleyball player committed to Northern Colorado, said to The World-Herald in October. "I can't get rid of him."
In his four years at Nebraska, Els coached, among other players, Lavonte David and Will Compton, both of whom are now starters in the NFL. Els was Nebraska's recruiting coordinator for the 2013 and 2014 recruiting classes, as well. He also spent time as NU's special teams coordinator.
Prior to his time at Nebraska, Els coached for six years at Ohio. He came to Nebraska in 2011 on the recommendation of former NU defensive coordinator Carl Pelini, who worked with Els at Ohio. Carl Pelini left the NU staff after the 2011 season, but Els stayed on, accumulating more responsibility as time went on and updating key areas of Nebraska's entire recruiting operation.
Els takes over a Purdue defense that ranked 112th nationally in scoring and total defense en route to a 2-10 season. One of Purdue's wins was over Nebraska, and it may have been the win that saved Boilermaker coach Darell Hazell's job. Purdue's 2016 schedule is among the most favorable in the Big Ten, as the Boilermakers avoid Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State.