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Tony Levine Resigning from Football Coaching Staff

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The assistant coach is stepping down after a successful year on the coaching staff.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 02 Louisville v Purdue Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This morning, head coach Jeff Brohm announced that assistant coach, Tony Levine, has resigned “to pursue opportunities outside of coaching.” Levine coached special teams, tight ends, and was the co-offensive coordinator.

This is big loss for Purdue this season. While special teams might have been an area that, on paper, maybe didn’t improve much under the new coaching staff, Levine was a big part in calling many of the fake punts. This allowed Purdue to extend drives that led to scores, and led to Joe Schopper becoming the 3rd best quarterback on the 2017 squad.

Of course there was also the fake punt against Nebraska where the Huskers committed pass interference:

Additionally, Levine was intensely preparing for Wisconsin, as he noticed a flaw in the Badgers punt routine and wanted to exploit it. As Mike DeFabo noted in an October article:

Levine installed the scheme after practice Tuesday, drilled it all week, felt confident it would work. Still, when the 44-year-old coach arrived at his hotel just hours before the game, he couldn’t keep himself from following what’s become his routine — Check in. Skip dinner (against the advice of his wife, a dietitian). Watch extra film.

Inside that hotel room, Levine tinkered with the play ever so slightly and called together three special teams players — Darrius Pittman, Garrett Hudson and Race Johnson. There he unveiled his adjustment. He told Pittman to line up 18 inches closer to the ball.

Yes, 18 inches.

All the film study, a missed dinner, boiled down to half-a-yard — a distance that may seem so incredibly minor it’s practically insignificant.

But there is no detail too small, no adjustment too insignificant for Purdue’s special special teams coach. To him, half-a-yard could mean the difference between a Wisconsin punt no one would remember and a Purdue punt block that would change the momentum of the game.

With the plan in place, the Boilers waited for their moment on game day.

And well, we know how that play went:

Unfortunately for Purdue, they couldn’t capitalize after the blocked punt and lost Race Johnson in the process, but nevertheless it kept Wisconsin on their toes the rest of the game.

Purdue and Brohm now have two positions to fill, one of them being Levine’s position, the other being the 10th assistant coach that is now permitted under the NCAA.

At the moment, it is unclear why Levine is stepping down so suddenly outside of what has been stated. He has had a long coaching record, and was even the head coach at Houston for three seasons before joining Jeff Brohm at Western Kentucky. As Mike Carmin of the Journal & Courier noted, Levine never signed his contract with Purdue.

We wish Levine the best of luck in his future endeavors, and we thank him for the impact he had this year on Purdue football.

Update: Saturday, Jan. 20th

Levine posted this message on his Twitter account saying that he is stepping away from coaching, moving back to Houston, and spending more time with his family: