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Purdue Football Coaching Search Report: “It is Fleck’s Job if He Wants It”

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Another day, another coaching rumor.

Buffalo v Western Michigan Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Yesterday the job was all for Les Miles and it was possibly being announced this weekend. Today we see P.J. Fleck take the lead in the rumor mill according to 247 Sports:

We’ve been told that Purdue has interviewed an estimated 10-15 candidates in a search that has been described as “messy.”

Every source seems to have a different take on free agent Les Miles’ place in the search - some think he’s still in the mix; some believe he’s out - but indications from sources are that Western Michigan’s P.J. Fleck is ahead. One source even said it’s “his job if he wants it.”

Fleck, who turns 36 next week, is said to be interested in the job, but he’s curious what other opportunities might present themselves. For one, a source said he particularly is interested in North Carolina.

This seems contrary to some reports that have said Fleck will not entertain any offers until Western Michigan’s season is over. The Broncos have essentially a winner-take-all game on Friday at 5pm on ESPN2 against Toledo. The winner will go to the MAC championship game a week later in Detroit, and with a No. 21 spot in the playoff rankings they are trying to get into a New Year’s Day Group of 6 bowl. Assuming the Broncos win on Friday, Fleck is pretty much off limits until December 3.

I am not sure why this search has been called “messy”, however. Purdue has had to wait for candidates to finish their respective seasons, as Olson and Miles are the only two coaches that have been mentioned and are currently unemployed.

In terms of who HAS been interviewed:

Ho boy...

I have long been on record as not wanting Spack. the time to get him was 8 years ago in place of Danny Hope. In retrospect, he should have been the guy to take over then. That said, I don’t think he was the guy to take Purdue higher then, and there isn’t a lot to suggest he is the guy to complete the entire rebuild now. Spack to me seems like a guy who would have kept Purdue in the 6-8 wins per year range, but would have struggled to get higher like Tiller. Maybe he would have done more, but we’ll never know. I just think his time was eight years ago and not now.

It is nice to see that there is at least strong innuendo that Fleck and Miles are a pretty clear 1-2. To me, that shows Purdue is taking this hire seriously and I think both are clearly the best candidates. I go back and forth on which one I would like more, but getting either one is proof that Purdue is serious about competing. Miles can drastically improve recruiting on name alone and even if he only stays 5-7 years, he will leave the program in far better shape than it is now. Fleck has the higher risk of being the next MAC flameout, but he could also be a very successful and longer term solution.

Past those two I think you have a pretty severe drop off. I like Jeff Brohm and Chris Klieman. I am encouraged by Craig Bohl, but more for his NDSU work than Wyoming. Spack, Olson, and Skip Holtz all feel like Burke-type hires in every way.