The not-so-wonderful world of former college football head coaches adds yet another member to its ranks. The day after the regular season concluded for many teams around the country, so did the head coaching tenures for many men.
After just four seasons at the helm of Purdue, athletic director Morgan Burke has announced the dismissal of Danny Hope.
“There is no question that our football program has seen considerable growth under Danny’s leadership, particularly in the areas of academics, player development and recruiting,” Burke said in a news release. “I applaud him for his passion about Purdue University and the young men he coaches. He and his staff have devoted their lives to improving the program, but as I told him earlier this afternoon, those efforts did not equate to the consistent on-field success that both of us expected.”
Hope took over for the school’s most successful head man, Joe Tiller, but he was not at all able to duplicate Tiller’s winning ways.
Whereas Tiller enjoyed a trip to the Rose Bowl with Drew Brees at the helm, Hope won only one bowl game, beating Western Michigan in the Little Caesar’s Bowl — not exactly the high-profile situation expected at a Big Ten program.
Despite a three-game winning streak to end the year, an 0-5 start to Big Ten play in 2012, four of the losses of the blowout variety, proved to be Hope’s downfall. He compiled a 22-27 record at Purdue, including a 13-19 mark in Big Ten Conference games and a 15-13 mark at Ross-Ade Stadium.
Wide receivers coach Patrick Higgins will serve in the interim. He will coach the Boilermakers in their bowl game, which is expected to be the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
When asked if had had any regrets, Hope was succinct.
“I wish we would have won more games, absolutely,” Hope said. “But I don’t know what we would have done any different. The end reason is that we found a way and that’s what matters.”
Of course, he lamented a few major chances that got away. That includes a loss to now 12-0 Ohio State in overtime. A few bounces a few different directions may have resulted in a very different scenario for both Hope and the school’s administration.
“I don’t know any other expectation to have other than (to) be the best. We had some opportunities early in the season that maybe we could be a team that could contend to be division champions. I’m not going to shy away from an opportunity like that. I don’t think we should ever direct our team away from opportunities like that.”
Obviously, the Purdue athletic department agrees.
However, they just don’t believe Hope is the man to succeed given that type of opportunity.
Quotes from Indy Star were used in this report.
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