This week in an interview, Kawaan Short said that he thought Purdue definitely had the right coaches, and that it was on the players. Marve also commented on Thursday in an interview that he had Coach Hope's back. I have read a few other interviews recently, and it seems like the players still support Coach Hope. I don't mean to add heat to the argument about the coaches, I was scratching my head myself after the poor showing against Minnesota, but I did think those comments deserve some consideration coming from Short and Marve.
I really don't mean to reignite the head coach debate here, but I do want to bring up something else that I've been wondering about that I think puts Purdue Football at a big disadvantage. Personally, I think the program needs a bigger investment towards assistant coach salaries so we don't lose a bunch of them again at the end of the season. My theory is that since we horribly underpay our assistants (I believe we're last in the Big 10 and even significantly below IU), we have to get lucky and find assistants that are "diamonds in the rough." Then if they end up being really good, they get an offer at the end of the season at another school and we have to replace them. I think we lost like 4 assistants after last season, and the year before. I think no chemistry among the coaching staff really hurts the team. Think about what happened to Wisconsin this year. They had a terrible O-Line and replaced their assistant coach after the 2nd game. It got significantly better in just a couple of weeks. I think if we can't lure assistant coaches of that level to our program, we should at least pay the ones that we have competitively so they stick around. They would over time improve upon their own methods if they were in the same program, working inside of the same system for several years. If Hope gets rid of somebody like he did last year, that's one thing. But Tibesar came in this year and implemented his own techniques this year. They've been completely hit or miss, but at least when he's interviewed, Tibesar seems like he is constantly examining problems and I think with that approach, he will figure it out eventually. But if he brings in his system for one year and then leaves, and someone else comes in next year and does everything different, the players will have to adjust all over again. But once Tibesar or any other assistant does make a name for himself, we don't want them to take off for Wisconsin. In fact, the guy who recruited Ryan Kerrigan was one of our big recruiting coaches, and he left Purdue to go over to IU if you can believe that. Who knows if we have the right assistants right now, I think there's so much going wrong right now that I can't tell what the correct pieces are. But with more money for the assistants, over time we'd retain the good ones and if certain ones weren't performing, they could replace them if they needed to. Eventually we'd have a staff with better chemistry and a system that was constantly being improved upon instead of being replaced every year or two.
If you think about it, we've only been any good when we've had a really good QB who stays healthy. We've had one guy carry us on his back, and that's not good, but thinking about that, I'm not surprised that we are where we are this season. Pretty much every other area, special teams, defense, etc... has always been suspect. I do not know how much of an impact giving the assistants a raise would have, but it was important enough to Matt Painter to almost leave Purdue over. Danny Hope has been asking for that raise too, he just doesn't have a championship that he can use as leverage. Unfortunately the football team's assistant coaching staff is probably even more pivotal than the basketball assistant coaching staff. There are so many more people involved with a football team. The 10 players on the basketball team can get more personal attention and help from the head coach, whereas on the football team, players probably deal with the assistants more and the head coach just oversees a lot of stuff. Someone on the forum once commented that Hope is an O-line coach, therefore our O-line should be better. I thought about that, and he might have some impact there, but he's probably got so much responsibility as a head coach that his impact as an O-line coach is minimal. The O-line coach is probably dealing with those players most of the time.
A few people wanted Purdue to offer Urban Meyer a football coaching job last year. It wasn't going to happen, but think about this: Any program who goes after Meyer is putting significant cash into their football program. Money's probably not much of an issue. A guy with a reputation like Meyer also probably has a whole crew of high caliber assistant coaches who come with the package. Any school willing to sign Meyer is also going to give him enough money to hire whatever assistants he wants. He's got the reputation where if the school wouldn't give him those resources, he'd say heck no, and go somewhere else. That's also probably why we don't get big name coaches.
If anyone has the Football assistant coach salaries for the Big 10, let me know, I'd like to see the data again. I saw it at the end of last season, but I tried to find it recently and didn't see it anywhere.