Purdue Loses Hope

I captured Danny Hope as he urges his team on in the 4th quarter against Iowa at Kinnick Stadium in 2012.

Sorry for the lame headline.  I could’ve chose any number of them.  I often wonder how newspaper editors choose their headlines.  Do they think of them as the game goes on, playing out any number of what-if scenarios for the right headline?  Do they throw some options on the board and let the beat writers throw darts at them, choosing the one with the most darts?  One of those secrets of the biz I’m sure we’ll never know.  Perhaps I’m the only one that cares.

Nonetheless, the point of this is Purdue parted ways with Danny Hope today, their head coach brought in after the Joe Tiller era was finished.  I would imagine there were a lot of Purdue faithful that thought Joe Tiller’s shoes were pretty big to fill.  I imagine there were a lot of those same faithful who thought Danny Hope deserved another shot since the Boilers had a strong finish.  This news came on the heals of hearing that Auburn fired Gene Chizik 2 years after he won the national championship.  Or, was it Cam Newton that won the national championship.  That’s probably it.  That loud noise you heard earlier was the raucous laughter coming from Ames.

Fans of college football are impatient and unforgiving.  As a coach we tend to think you are only as good as you are right now.  I am generalizing and that is not at all what I think.  To me success is defined as the sum of your parts.  You can win but be a problematic person (hello, Mike Leach). You can lose and be a good person (aka Greg Davis), or you can be the best of both, (like Mack Brown).  But, no matter how you slice it, the best have down years or bad situations (you know, Nick Saban never really set the world on fire in East Lansing).  That’s why I’m still a very strong supporter of Kirk Ferentz.  Good people win out over a few bad years in my book. Kirk has done enough at the University of Iowa to write his own departure ticket whether we’ve “hit bottom” or not.  I’m pretty sure there will be a waiting list for season tickets next year just like in years past.

Here is a shot I took of Danny Hope in November 2012 in what would be his last game at Kinnick as Purdue’s head coach.

So that brings us back to Hope.  It will be interesting to see what Purdue is able to get.  Honestly, I don’t know enough about their traditions to know who might be a fit.  I did read that they want an “offensive-minded” coach who can restore the strong QB legacies Purdue has built over the years.  Perhaps they pull a K-State and bring back Tiller?


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