I was getting a little worried there that offensive coordinator was the biggest position left on the Purdue coaching staff to be filled and there was no news on what Gary Nord was doing. The Darrell Hazell hiring was great news, but if Nord somehow was retained and we returned to Danny Etling, Austin Appleby, and Rob Henry throwing screen pass after screen pass I was probably going to get a Buffalo Bill van and start driving out west somewhere.
Well, fear the Nordfense no more! We have been liberated, my friends. Former North Carolina offensive coordinator John Shoop is coming to West Lafayette and the playbook of all screens and draws on 3rd and 12 will be burned publicly at 7pm tonight on the Engineering Mall:
Shoop spent nearly 20 years as an assistant coach in the NFL before becoming the offensive coordinator at North Carolina in 2007. Most of that experience came as a quarterbacks coach, but he did spent three seasons as the offensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears from 2001-2003.
Shoop's offenses at North Carolina weren't known for being tremendously explosive. The Tar Heels were only ranked 51st in total offense during his best season in Chapel Hill (2010), and failed to average more than 28 points per game during his regime. In fact, the pairing of Shoop and offensive line coach Jim Bollman (formerly of Ohio State) has some Big Ten fans not exactly trembling in their boots.
Yeah, it is not a splashy hire, but hopefully he understands that getting the football to explosive players like Akeem Hunt, Raheem Mostert, and Brandon Cottom is a good thing. If he doesn't complain about the fans not understanding his genius it will be an improvement.
In the five years at North Carolina the Tar Heels went 4-8, 8-5, 8-5, 8-5, and 7-6 under Shoop. The offensive was far from being basketball on grass, but it was effective. It is difficult to say if Shoop has more offensive talent in the right spots now or not. They also had a pretty big academic scandal which Shoop himself wrote about.
In the NFL Shoop has been a quarterbacks coach for the Raiders, Bucs, Panthers, and Bears. He was also the Bears' offensive coordinator from 2001-03, helping them to an NFC Central title in 2001. The Bears went 13-3 before losing to Philadelphia in the playoffs.
This is a lukewarm hire, but really, is it worse than the Nordfense? I mean come on! This guy got Jim Miller lead a 13-3 NFL team! If he performs two more miracles I believe that qualifies him for Sainthood.
Honestly, I am not thrilled, but I am willing to give this group a shot. Shoop has NFL experience and he was coaching at a school where football is a very distant second to basketball. He has better tools in West Lafayette, so let's see what happens.