|Burke addressing the media Sunday evening|
One of the worst-kept secrets in Purdue's athletic department was officially aired this evening as Morgan Burke addressed Danny Hope's firing after four years as a head coach that followed a transitional year under Tiller.
Hope was 22-27 at the helm...and in spite of leading Purdue to a second-straight bowl after another 6-6 season, it seemed like the right time to change direction.
Hope was not at the press conference, but Higgins was there as he has been named the interim coach for the bowl game. Nord will be Higgins' advisor during bowl prep. Higgins said he's playing the role of about three or four coaches during the next few weeks.
Perhaps Hope wasn't at the conference because of the way he had handled the press in the last day/weeks? Perhaps not...Burke didn't address it.
Burke touched on a few points:
-He started the conference by saying he accepted some of the responsibility for the current state of the program...but doesn't feel bad for having to change direction at this point.
-He gave credit to the players for being able to recover from the five game slide and win the final three games of the B1G schedule.
-Hope isn't going to coach in the bowl game because he believes that move puts too much pressure on the exiting coach and his family.
-Purdue has lost 1/3 of its season ticket holders. He said this isn't the sole decider, but was emblematic of the lack of enthusiasm within the fan base.
-Said the move was needed to hold on to ticket holders who have stayed on during this stretch and to get some ex-season ticket holders back into the fold.
-His goal for the program is for Purdue to be a perennial top-25 program and to get back to Pasadena in the near future.
-He said he doesn't have a "quick trigger" when it comes to hires.
Agreed- that might be the reason Sumlin is not at his alma mater right now...and his slow movements on decisions nearly pushed Painter to Missouri. Let's hope his methodology doesn't lead to losing the right candidate.
-Burke is using Ryan Grigson, Rick Smith and Bill Polian as consultants for the hiring process. Grigson is the current GM for the Colts, and is a Purdue alum...Smith is also a Purdue alum and is GM of the Texans. Polian is the former President of the Colts...and has no connection with Purdue.
-He said the candidate does not need to have Purdue ties, but a Purdue tie might be a tie breaker, of sorts.
-Burke addressed that Purdue fans value Purdue being the Cradle of Quarterbacks...and wants to have a coach that will help bring back an offense that continues that heritage...said the current team had not embodied this philosophy and direction.
-He said he'd prefer a coach with head coaching experience.
-He didn't give a timeframe for when the hire would be made.
GBI reported earlier tonight that Dave Doeren (NIU HC), Sonny Dykes (LaTech HC), Butch Jones (Cincy HC), Mark Helfrich (Oregon OC) and Tim DeRuyter (Fresno State HC) have all been contacted by Purdue.
We like this list.
Burke reiterated that he hasn't made a decision and isn't close to doing so...I'm not positive that he isn't a bit further along in the process than he's letting on as we have heard that this search began over a month ago...and Dave Doeren's comments a few weeks ago make me believe he's the guy.
As we learn more, we'll pass it on and let you know our thoughts.
So far two verbal commitments for Purdue's class of 2013 have backed out and are looking elsewhere...I believe this number will go up. But, as we've always thought, none of these guys are guaranteed to make it to campus until they've signed their LOIs...that doesn't come until after the new year.