2016 Purdue Football Coaching Search: Rod Carey
Candidate Tier: Realistic Candidates - MAC-TACULAR
Who Is He?
Rod Carey. Head Coach and proud owner of a 1-6 record this season at Northern Illinois.
Why would he be successful at Purdue?
For all the same basic reasons anyone brings up MAC coaches when discussing openings in the Big 10. He’s a midwest guy who has played, coached, and recruited all in the midwest. He’s coached Northern Illinois to a bowl game in each of his three full seasons, a run of wild success wholly unfamiliar to Purdue fans as of late. He’s won the MAC West Division three years in a row, and he won the MAC outright in 2014. He’s an offensive-oriented guy; he got started at NIU as the OL coach - a position group in desperate need of a revamping - eventually moving on to taking over responsibility for calling the run game, and eventually Offensive Coordinator, before becoming the Head Coach with Dave Doeren’s departure to NC State.
I do like the idea of hiring someone whose background and experience are so focused on offense. Purdue is not going to be able to grind out wins against teams; you have to be creative, and you’re gonna have to score a lot of points. Carey having such a heavy offensive background is a definite plus.
He also has experience beating Purdue, so there’s that. He’s also the only NIU coach in its history to beat three Big 10 teams.
Why could he flop at Purdue?
Well, any time you have your own Facebook page dedicated to trying to get you fired, it’s not a good look. Having said that, there are only 51 likes on that page, so it’s not exactly a significant movement.
Besides that - and the fact that he’s an IU grad and former player - there’s plenty to question with Rod Carey. He doesn’t have a ton of experience. NIU is his first Head Coaching job, and he’s spent most of his career as an offensive line coach, with even minimal Offensive Coordinator experience (one year at NIU, two years at Wisconsin-Stout.)
His recruiting hasn’t been that great at NIU. While he’s won a lot of games, he’s done so largely with Doeren’s recruits. His win totals have decreased every year since he took over the program in 2013 (12-11-8), and this year has been quite rough for Doeren, as his team has only won one games so far against six losses. Defense has been a problem for Carey’s squads, and even the offensive has looked rather pedestrian this season.
Would he come to Purdue?
Yes, I think he would. In fact, the year for him to leave would have been last year, but the market for Carey hasn’t been that strong. He’s done some good things at NIU, but delving deeper into his record, it looks like we’d rather he take a couple more seasons to show what he can do before a P5 school takes a chance on him. Purdue has already been burned by hiring a mid-major coach with minimal experience who experienced great success with someone else’s recruits.