This Saturday May be Joe's last home game coaching Purdue.
Piecing together a few statements released in the last seven days along with a few changes on campus at Purdue, I have come to a conclusion:
Joe Tiller will announce his retirement prior to Purdue's bowl game following the 2006 season. With a new President taking office for Purdue University, and whispers of Morgan Burke's departure as AD getting louder, I think Tiller wants to control his legacy. His legacy, in my opinion, is having Brock Spack become his successor. I've said this before, and will say it again; Purdue football coaches aren't royalty, and if the above scenario plays out, Spack shouldn't be crowned king. I would like to see the best possible candidate get the job, regardless of their Purdue connection. Joe Tiller, Jim Young and Jack Mollenkopf weren't Purdue grads...so why does the next coach need to be? If he's the best candidate at that time, so be it, if not, let the best man win.
Some of the items that I found unusual in different articles are these: Tiller felt that Dorien Bryant deserved multiple hugs during the UI game (you might have seen one or both on TV)...Following the game, he said that DB's effort warranted a hug. Sure, that's nice, but he's not his grandpa, he's his coach...and he's never been a particularly touchy-feely guy. Also, during and following that game, Tiller was extremely emotional (pumping his fist, leading the team in the fight song after the game and high-fiving regularly). I love to see that and have been wanting to see emotion from Joe for years, but we didn't even see this kind of behavior during Brees' senior season. Lastly, following the win over UI, Tiller said that being bowl eligible 9 out of 10 years was something that he'd look back on as a big accomplishment once his career was over.
If that doesn't say a ton, what does?
Regardless if I'm right or wrong, I hope that whenever Tiller decides to leave, we, as Purdue alums and fans are begging him to stay one more season. With wins over IU, UH and the bowl opponent (his first 10-win season, mind you), we'd be doing just that.