A veteran of more than 30 years in the coaching ranks, Donn
Landholm joined coach Watson Brown’s Golden Eagle staff as an
assistant coach early in 2013 to work with linebackers and special
teams. In July of 2013, his assignment changed as he was selected
as the defensive coordinator. He also directs the
team’s indside linebackers.
Landholm spent the four previous seasons on the Purdue staff where he worked with the outside linebackers, and was defensive coordinator for one year in 2009.
He moved to Purdue in 2009 from Eastern Kentucky, where he coached from 1997 to 2008. Landholm was linebackers coach from 1997 to 2004, defensive coordinator from 2005 to 2007 and linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator in 2008.
In 2005 and 2006, the Colonels ranked among the OVC’s top three in total defense, allowing merely 328.5 and 309.0 yards per game. The Colonels led the nation in turnover margin in 2007 at +18, with 35 takeaways (24 interceptions and 11 fumble recoveries).
Landholm also was in charge of the Eastern Kentucky special teams from 2002 to 2007. In 2003, the Colonels led the nation with a 16.5-yard punt return average and, in 2006, they were ninth with a 22.9-yard kickoff return average.
From 1993 to 1996, Landholm was the offensive line coach at Blinn (Texas) Junior College. Blinn won back-to-back junior college national championships in 1995 and 1996, going 12-0 both seasons. Prior to joining the Blinn staff, Landholm was an assistant at PSJA North High School in Pharr, Texas, in 1992.
Landholm coached at Arizona State from 1987 to 1991, the first two years as a graduate assistant with the defense and the final three as a volunteer assistant with the linebackers. The Sun Devils played in the 1987 Freedom Bowl.
Donn coached the running backs at Montana State in 1986 and at Central Missouri in 1984 and 1985. His career began at Plainview (Neb.) High School, as an assistant from 1979 to 1981 and subsequently as head coach in 1982 and 1983.
A native of Bristow, Neb., Landholm played outside linebacker at Wayne State and earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education and political science in 1979. He earned a master’s degree in secondary education from Central Missouri State in 1985.
Landholm and his wife, Cindi, have three daughters: Kristen, Sarah and Kate.