The tireless Jon Rothstein dropped a bit of a bomb on Purdue fans this afternoon by announcing that Purdue assistant coach Steve Lutz is likely going to be named the head man at Texas A&M Corpus Christi.
Sources: Texas A&M Corpus Christi is expected to hire Purdue's Steve Lutz as its next head basketball coach.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 6, 2021
Lutz has been with Purdue since the 2017-2018 season and was at Creighton prior to that. Lutz has been the so-called defensive coordinator for Purdue with the now departed to Penn State Micah Shrewsberry functioning as his offensive counterpart.
With Lutz in charge these past few years the computers have loved the Purdue defense. They’ve achieved their best ranked defense in over a decade under Lutz’s tutelage. It’s also notable that you see improvement from Purdue during the season and you could see adjustments being made from season to season and even game to game. Lutz is a good coach and a good recruiter and he will leave some big shoes to fill.
With both Lutz and Shrewsberry off to get head jobs elsewhere it leaves Coach Painter with two vacancies on his staff. Currently Brandon Brantley is the only remaining assistant coach. You have to believe that Painter knew this might be coming and it likely framed his thinking with the search for Shrewsberry’s replacement. Painter has moved to the two coordinator roles in recent years and with Shrewsberry gone Painter needed an offensive guy, but now both coordinator roles are open and Painter’s options are much more wide open.
One name I’d personally like to see get a run at the job is former Purdue assistant Paul Lusk. Lusk was with Purdue from 2004-2011 and left to become the head man at Missouri State. It didn’t work out for him there and he’s currently an assistant coach at Creighton. Moving to associate head coach at Purdue would be a good stepping stone for him to get back to the head coaching ranks. Plus, we know he can coach and recruit.
A second name, and another Purdue retread that comes to mind, is Rick Ray. Lusk and Ray overlapped at Purdue with Ray being an assistant from 2006-2010. Ray left to become an assistant at Clemson and was one of the reasons that Painter demanded better pay for his assistant coaches in the Painter to Missouri fiasco. Ray was then the head coach at Mississippi State and Southeast Missouri State. This past season he was an assistant at Colorado. Like Lusk, I’m sure he wants to get back to being the head man somewhere and stepping into a role like associate head coach at Purdue would be an excellent opportunity and a step back toward getting a head coaching job.
Painter has plenty of relationships in the coaching community and I would imagine quite a few people are beating down the door to talk to him about an opening especially when you consider his history of assistants getting head gigs directly after leaving Purdue. We wish coach Lutz nothing but the best and will keep you updated on the coaching search and any hires that are announced.