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Purdue Football Coaching Search: Prepare for Disappointment

No, “your guy” probably isn’t getting the job.

NCAA Football: Illinois at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

No matter the end result of the Purdue coaching search most of you will wind up disappointed. That’s not to say that Purdue will make a bad hire, only time will tell if that’s the case, but it does mean that odds are you won’t like the person Purdue hires. It won’t be “your guy”. Odds are it won’t be “my guy” either and it might not even be someone I, or you, know very much about. It might even be someone we think will be terrible for the job. Don’t let that initial shock and disappointment sour you on the new coach though. Perhaps my young age is showing here but I didn’t know much of anything about Joe Tiller prior to his hire and he turned out pretty well. On the flip side I knew quite a bit about Darrell Hazell prior to his hire and I came away impressed with his resume and his ability to bring Purdue football back to respectability. Boy was I wrong.

Coaching searches are chaotic, they are months long processes where you try to hire the one person, ONE PERSON, out of dozens available that fits your profile to lead your team back to glory. It’s not an easy thing to pull off. That’s why each and every year more coaches get fired and thus more coaching searches happen. Bobinski is making his first football hire and it’s an important one no doubt. The importance of the hire is why I don’t mind waiting, and why I won’t mind an initial disappointment. Purdue needs to hire the right guy for the job and if that means it’s someone I am not excited about so be it. Even if Purdue hires Les Miles, looking less likely at this point, or P.J. Fleck, who even knows, that initial excitement will wear off, that recruiting bump will go away, the initial rush of donations will be spent and you will be left with the coach and his new staff. What happens at that point is much more important than grabbing the biggest name.

There’s an old adage about coaches who can win the press conference but can’t win games. I’d rather lose the press conference but find a way for Purdue to get back to winning football games. If that means hiring Greg Olson I know a lot of you will be disappointed but if he wins games you’ll get over it. If Bo Pelini is the guy, and he brings Faux Pelini’s cat, some might take offense to his brusque attitude but if he piles up wins all will be forgiven. Heck, even Greg Schiano if he wins would make a believer out of this Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan. If Brock Spack should finally get his dream job after being twice disappointed I will be thrilled for him, many will be underwhelmed and disappointed, but then the onus is on Spack to start rebuilding the program.

My point is the name that Purdue gets doesn’t matter. What matters is what happens after day one. After the introductory press conference with the fancy glass bowl full of (insert item denoting bowl game here) that the coach promises to return your team to is when the real work begins. Probably half of the fans will be disappointed with whomever Purdue hires but we all owe it to the new coach to give him a chance and see what he can build. I’m ready for the disappointment but I’m also ready for what comes next.