2016 Purdue Football Coaching Search: Mike Neu
Candidate Tier: MAC-rimonious
Who Is He?
Mike Neu is currently head coach of the Ball State Cardinals, who are right now sitting at 4-3 in Neu’s first year succeeding Pete Lembo.
Neu played quarterback for Ball State in the early 90s, and had a short professional career in the Arena Football League right after college. Hey, he collected paychecks to play football, so it super counts as professional football.
Neu bounced around the AFL coaching circuit, landing several head coaching jobs (Augusta and Carolina, I guess, which are/were real AFL teams at one point). He landed up coaching the New Orleans Voodoo for five seasons, and I think we can all agree the New Orleans Voodoo is the best team name in all sports.
He wound up coaching quarterbacks for the New Orleans Saints (HEY THAT’S WHERE DREW BREES PLAYS), and after a quick stop as a Tulane assistant Neu landed the Ball State job this January. He’s been perfectly fine in his inaugural college head coaching year, and seems to be a good fit for Ball State.
Why would he be successful at Purdue?
Because I assume Neu and Brees are best friends, and anyone who is best friends with Drew Brees is a winner. Also, Ball State has a high-powered offense, and quarterbacks are kind of a thing here at Purdue (if you didn’t know).
Why could he flop at Purdue?
He’s 0-2 in conference so far, and hasn’t ever had to recruit during his unique career path. I’m sure he’ll end up at a decent Power 5 job if he posts three winning seasons at Ball State, but it’s not time yet.
Would he come to Purdue?
Absolutely. A quarterback from Indianapolis, who coached Brees and has his eye on a Power 5 job? Neu would love to the Purdue job, and might do well with a job like this one eventually, and might even make AD Mike Bobinski spend a few seconds scanning his CV. But he shouldn’t be a candidate at Purdue this year.