It now appears official that Butch Jones will not be the head coach at Purdue. Multiple sources, including GBI and Carmin, are reporting that fact but not where he will be coaching.
CBS says Jones will attend a presser regarding the Bearcats bowl game, which seems odd since he supposedly will not be addressing his future. Good luck with that, Butch.
The current thinking is that Purdue has turned their attention to Kent State's Darrell Hazell, who quite frankly, I'm very high on at the moment. I watched the MAC title game and while I haven't seen much else of Hazell, I found myself more enamored of him during that game than of Doeren.
Hazell has, to me, the qualities you want in a leader of men. He exudes a confidence and a "Follow me, men" persona that, no matter the odds, gives the impression that he's got a plan. Of course, as a good friend of mine always says, "Custer had a plan, too."
As for "losing out" on Butch Jones, I wouldn't fret too much about this, Boiler faithful, and this isn't just me trying to make you feel better. Jones is a capable coach, no doubt about it. However, we've heard more than a few reports that he's a hothead and at times unlikable. Those characteristics still wouldn't make us not consider the guy, but you also have to take into account the fact that, like it or not, he was a reach for Purdue. He's a successful coach at a D1 program who already makes a lot of money. Purdue was simply incapable of blowing him away with a money offer, so it had to be the right fit for him and his family. Maybe it wasn't. Or maybe he's in it for top dollar, which, hey, it might be his best payday ever, so who are we to criticize that?
Also consider that Butch Jones inherited Brian Kelly's 4th-ranked, 12-0 Cinci team that played in the Sugar Bowl (and got worked over by Florida). So he walked into a pretty good spot and, to his credit, has not let them down. But is it what Hazell has done this year, for example? Taking a truly terrible program and getting 11 wins out of them?
All I'm saying is that Butch Jones was a stretch-goal for the Boilermakers and it hasn't worked out. This is not a reason to feel despair. If Morgan Burke comes through with a solid hire that we're all excited about, then he's done right by our alma mater and his very public courtship with Jones will be forgiven and forgotten. Until then, it looks as though Burke got played a little bit by Jones' agent. As I said, though, the final judgment on this search process is far from ready to be cast.
As I said on twitter the other day, I think you speak to Darrell Hazell and offer him $1.5 M per season, plus incentives, thus guaranteeing him five times his current salary at Kent State.
Get it done, Morgan.