Kevin Wolthausen | Purdue University

Team: Purdue University
Organization: NCAA Football
Position: Assistant Coach-Defensive Line
Hometown: Santa Barbara, California


Kevin Wolthausen is in his third season on staff, including his first as special teams coordinator and his second as an assistant coach working the defensive line. He was hired June 1, 2017, and spent the 2017 season in quality control.

In 2018, defensive tackles Lorenzo Neal and Anthony Watts anchored the line on the interior. Neal wrapped up his junior season with 30 tackles, including three for loss and one sack, two pass breakups and a blocked kick en route to honorable mention All-Big Ten recognition for the second straight year. Watts, a sophomore, took over the starting spot alongside Neal inside and recorded 42 tackles, including 3.5 for loss and one sack, with two pass breakups and one interception. Junior end Kai Higgins and redshirt freshman end Giovanni Reviere had 30 and 28 tackles, respectively.

Wolthausen also worked with the special teams in 2018. Senior kicker Spencer Evans connected on 78.3 percent of his field goal attempts (18 of 23), while freshman Rondale Moore’s 744 combined kick return yards helped lead him to winning the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most versatile player.

Wolthausen, who previously was the defensive line coach at Purdue in 2012, returned to the Boilermakers after spending the 2014, 2015 and 2016 seasons at Connecticut. He served as the Huskies’ special teams coordinator and linebackers coach in 2016 following two years as defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator. The Huskies played in the 2015 St. Petersburg Bowl.

In 2013, Wolthausen served as special teams coordinator at Florida International.

In his first stint at Purdue, Wolthausen helped guide the Boilermakers to the 2013 Heart of Dallas Bowl. Defensive tackle Kawann Short amassed 15.5 tackles for loss, including seven sacks, en route to earning second-team All-America honors. Short was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Wolthausen originally joined the Boilermakers from the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League, where he served as defensive line coach. The Locomotives won UFL championships in 2009 and 2010 and lost in the title game in 2011.

Prior to spending the 2007 season with the Atlanta Falcons, he coached four years at Louisville from 2003 to 2006. Starting with the Cardinals as the linebacker coach, he moved to defensive line and 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 in a game 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 and went on to a 12-year NFL career that saw him selected to the Pro Bowl five times and set the Baltimore Ravens’ franchise record for sacks in a season with 17.

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.

Wolthausen moved on to Arizona as a graduate assistant for the 1983 and 1984 season before becoming full-time with the Wildcats as outside linebackers coach in 1985 and defensive line coach in 1986.

In 1987, Wolthausen followed head coach Larry Smith from Arizona to USC, where he helped guide the Trojans to three Rose Bowl appearances in six seasons (1987-92).

After two seasons as defensive line coach at Oklahoma in 1993 and 1994, Wolthausen moved to Arizona State. 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.

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