Purdue head football coachannounced the addition of three new members to his staff. Mike Cassity has been hired as the director of high school relations and Ryan Wallace and Kevin Wolthausen have joined as quality control.
Cassity comes to Purdue after spending the previous four seasons (2013-16) at Western Kentucky University, where he worked with the secondary. He was on staff for the Hilltoppers’ back-to-back Conference USA championships (2015 and 2016) and three consecutive bowl victories (2014 Bahamas Bowl, 2015 Miami Beach Bowl and 2016 Boca Raton Bowl). He helped WKU improve its scoring defense from 121st nationally in 2014 (39.9) to 41st in 2016 (24.6), its total defense from 120th (509.9) to 41st (376.6) and its rushing defense from 111th (220.8) to third (97.2) among Football Bowl Subdivision schools. Cassity previously worked at WKU as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach from 1983 to 1988.
A veteran with 41 years of coaching experience, Cassity has had three stints at Kentucky (2012 – secondary, 1979-81 – secondary and 1975 – student assistant), helped win a pair of bowl games at Marshall (2011 Beef O’Brady and 2009 Little Caesars) and has five years of experience in the Big Ten after spending two seasons as the secondary coach at Wisconsin (1995-96) and three as the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at Illinois (2001-03). The Fighting Illini won the 2001 Big Ten championship and played in the 2002 Sugar Bowl with Cassity on staff.
In Cassity’s four seasons as the defensive coordinator and safeties coach at Louisville (2004-07), the Cardinals won the 2006 Big East championship, 2007 Orange Bowl, 2004 Conference USA title and Liberty Bowl that same season.
Cassity has served as the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State (1999-2000), Baylor (1997-98), Cincinnati (1994), Georgia Tech (1992-93), East Carolina (1990-91) and Northeast Louisiana (1989). The ECU coaching staff was selected as the National Coaching Staff of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association in 1991 after finishing the season 11-1.
Cassity has served as the secondary coach at Morehead State (1982) and as the football and wrestling coach at Paducah Tilghman High School in Kentucky.
A two-sport athlete at Kentucky in football and wrestling, Cassity graduated from UK in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. Born Aug. 22, 1953, he is a native of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and has three sons – Hunter, Skyler and Braden – and a daughter, Brooke.
Wallace comes to Purdue after spending the previous season as the tight ends coach at Austin Peay. The Governors finished third in the Ohio Valley Conference in rushing in 2016 and broke the school record for total offense multiple times last year. According to 24/7 Sports, Austin Peay signed the No.1 recruiting class in FCS with Wallace on staff.
Previous to Austin Peay, Wallace spent three seasons as a graduate assistant at Western Kentucky, where he worked directly with the tight ends under Brohm in 2014 and 2015 and with the offensive line in 2013 under Bobby Petrino. In 2015, the Hilltoppers won the Conference USA championship, Miami Beach Bowl and finished 24th in the final Associated Press Poll. WKU finished that season first in the nation in passing touchdowns, fifth in passing yards and scoring and eighth in total offense. The season prior, WKU broke 47 offensive school records, finished first in the country in passing touchdowns, second in passing yards, fourth in total offense and sixth in scoring. Tight ends Mitchell Henry and Tyler Higbee earned all-conference honors in 2014 under Wallace’s guide, with Higbee going on to be selected in the fourth round the National Football League Draft by the St. Louis Rams in 2015.
Wallace played two seasons of tight end at WKU (2011-12) and one year as an offensive tackle at Kentucky (2010). Born March 5, 1990, he holds a bachelor’s degree from WKU in political science (2013) and a master’s degree in sports administration (2015).
Wolthausen, who spent the 2012 season as the defensive line coach at Purdue, rejoins the Boilermakers after spending the previous three seasons (2014-16) at Connecticut. He served as the Huskies’ special teams coordinator and linebackers coach in 2016 following two seasons as the defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator.
At UConn, Wolthausen mentored Julian Campenni to second team All-American Conference honors and Folorunso Fatukasi to honorable mention recognition in 2015. The Huskies appeared in the St. Petersburg Bowl that same season.
Prior to UConn, Wolthausen spent one season (2013) as the special teams coordinator at Florida International.
In his first stint at Purdue, Wolthausen helped guide the Boilermakers to the 2013 Heart of Dallas Bowl. Under Wolthausen’s guide, Kawann Short finished his senior season with 15.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks en route to earning second team All-America honors from the AP. Short was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
His initial year at Purdue came after Wolthausen joined the Boilermakers from the Las Vegas Locomotives in the United Football League, where he served as the defensive line coach. The Locomotives won UFL titles in 2009 and 2010 and lost in the championship game in 2011.
Prior to spending the 2007 season with the Atlanta Falcons, he spent four seasons at Louisville. Starting with the Cardinals as the linebacker coach, he moved on to defensive line and eventually became co-defensive coordinator in 2006.
In 2005, Wolthausen mentored defensive end Elvis Dumervil to consensus All-America honors. Dumervil, who broke the NCAA record with six sacks against Kentucky, was named the 2005 Big East Player of the Year, while also winning the Bronko Nagurski and Ted Hendricks awards. Dumervil was selected in the fourth round by the Denver Broncos in the 2006 NFL Draft.
Wolthausen began his coaching career in 1980 as student assistant at Cal State Northridge before returning to his alma mater, Humboldt State, as a part-time defensive assistant from 1980 to 1982.
He joined the University of Arizona as a graduate assistant for a pair of seasons (1983-84) before becoming full-time with the Wildcats as the outside linebackers coach in 1985 and defensive line coach in 1986.
In 1987, Wolthausen followed head coach Larry Smith from Tucson to the University of Southern California, where he helped guide the Trojans to three Rose Bowl appearances in six seasons (1987-92).
After spending two winning seasons as the defensive line coach at Oklahoma in 1993 and 1994, Wolthausen moved on to Arizona State, where he worked with same defensive unit. With Wolthausen on staff, the 1996 Sun Devils came up just shy of winning at least a share of the school’s first national title after falling to Ohio State 20-17 in the final seconds of the 1997 Rose Bowl. ASU finished the year ranked fourth nationally with an 11-1 record.
Wolthausen, born Dec. 27, 1957, played linebacker at Humboldt, earning all-league honors in 1979, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1981. He and his wife, Michel, have a son, Noah, and a daughter, Quinn.