"I appreciate the work that Coach Higgins has done to help our program over the past six seasons," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "I am particularly grateful to Patrick for his contributions to our successful game management, where his head coaching experience proved valuable in critical situations."
Higgins takes over at Purdue for Brian Rock, who left the Boilermakers to become the offensive coordinator at Kent State. Higgins helped BYU achieve a 56-21 record the past six seasons with six bowl invitations, four bowl victories and two outright conference championships.
Higgins coached BYU All-American wide receiver Austin Collie and all-conference standout Todd Watkins, two of 15 players he coached during his career who have gone on to the NFL. Collie became the Cougars' all-time receiving leader with 3,255 yards. Also under his direction were kickers Mitch Payne and Matt Payne, who finished their careers ranked No. 1 and No. 2 on the MWC career kicking points list with 334 and 312 points, respectively. In 2010, Mitch also became BYU's all-time scoring leader.
Higgins came to BYU in 2005 from Louisiana Tech, where he spent one season as the tight ends coach and special teams coordinator. Prior to Louisiana Tech, he spent six seasons at UTEP as the quarterbacks and receivers coach (1998-1999) and offensive coordinator (2000-2003). As the offensive coordinator for UTEP, Higgins' offense posted 30 or more points on 16 different occasions and 40 or more points eight different times over that span.
In 1997, Higgins coached running backs at Columbia University in New York City. From 1994-96, he served as the offensive coordinator and special teams coach at NCAA Division II Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, W.Va., where he was also responsible for coaching quarterbacks and receivers.
Higgins was head coach at St. Andrews Prep in Savannah, Ga., in 1993 and also served as head coach at William Penn College in Oskaloosa, Iowa in 1992. He served as the defensive coordinator at Quincy University in 1991 and as offensive coordinator for the Hawks in 1990. The previous year, he was the receivers coach at St. Cloud State in St. Cloud, Minn.
A native of Pendleton, N.Y., Higgins graduated from William Penn University in 1986 with a degree in chemistry and a minor in biology. Higgins was twice honored as a football Academic All-America selection, and was a member of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society. In 1989, he earned a master's degree from St. Cloud State University in exercise physiology. He is married to Karen Laroche.