Graham Harrell

An ESPN college football reporter is indicating that Purdue’s new football coach is on the brink of hiring a high-octane offensive coordinator.

Adam Rittenberg, a senior writer for college football at ESPN, has reported that Graham Harrell will be the new Purdue coordinator.

Harrell, 37, most recently has been in charge of the offense at West Virginia in 2022. For three seasons prior to that, he was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at USC (2019-21) and North Texas (2016-18).

The Texas native played quarterback at Texas Tech (2004-08), where he holds eight individual NCAA records including most passes in a season (512 in 2007), per-game average completion (39.4 in 2007), per-game completed passes for a career (31.2), most games passing 400+ yards in a season (11 in 2007), most games passing 400+ yards in his career (20), most yards per-game average against an individual school (486.3 over three games vs. Texas), most seasons for 4,000+ yards offensively (3) and most games for 400+ yards in a career (21).

His best passing yardage in a game was 646 vs. Oklahoma in 2007 in a game where he attempted 72 passes. He played football professionally (Saskatchewan Roughriders in Canadian football, 2009, as well as with the Green Bay Packers, 2010-13).

Afterward, Harrell coached wide receivers at Washington State in 2009.

At West Virginia where the team was 5-6 in 2022, the Mountaineers averaged 30.6 points a game and gained 399.0 yards a game. Their starting quarterback, JT Daniels, who appeared in 10 of the 11 games this season, completed 216 of his 363 passes for 2,672 yards and 14 touchdowns. By comparison, Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell was 320 of 499 for 3,490 yards and 22 TDs.

According to his West Virginia football biography, in 2021 while at USC, his team was No. 17 nationally in passing offense and red zone offense. In 2020, USC’s passing offense was No. 11 in the nation and best in the Pac-12. And in his first season in 2019, USC’s offensive productivity per game increased to 455.4 yards a game from 382.6 per game the season before he came, a 19 percent improvement.

Recommended for you