Tracking the Boilermakers
April 1, 2016

By Tom Schott

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - This isn’t just another video game.

Purdue quarterbacks, under their new position coach Tim Lester, have been taking virtual reps through a smartphone app. Sophomore David Blough, redshirt freshman Elijah Sindelar and sophomore Aaron Banks run the Boilermakers’ offensive plays against various defenses and are forced to make decisions. The results are tracked, and Lester receives reports.

Purdue is one of six programs nationally – the lone in the Big Ten Conference – using EON Sports’ virtual reality trainer. Each quarterback’s smartphone is put inside headgear that detects eye movement and mental reflexes as a play unfolds.

The Boilermakers are in the midst of spring practice. All practices are open to the public. For more information, click here.

The Spring Game is April 16.

Register for The Challenge 5K Run/Walk

There is still time to register for The Challenge, the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research 5K run/walk that will take place prior to the Spring Game on April 16. All proceeds go to help cure cancer. Head football coach Darrell Hazell, whose father died from prostate cancer, again is serving as honorary chairperson for the event and will bang the “All-American” Marching Band’s Big Bass Drum to send off the participants.

Hammons Honorable Mention All-American

Senior center A.J. Hammons has been selected as an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press.

He is the first Boilermaker to earn All-America recognition since Robbie Hummel in 2012.

This season, Hammons averaged 15.0 points and 8.2 rebounds per game to go with 84 blocked shots en route to being named first team All-Big Ten, Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and first team all-district.

Hammons concluded his career with 343 blocked shots (second-most in school history), 930 rebounds (third) and 1,593 points (17th). He and fellow Boilermaker Joe Barry Carroll (1977-80) are the only two players in Big Ten Conference history to amass 1,500 points, 900 rebounds and 340 blocked shots.

Diving Duo All-Americans

Freshman divers Joe Cifelli and Max Showalter were honorable mention All-Americans at the NCAA Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships on March 25 and 26.

Cifelli finished 14th in 3-meter, while Showalter was 15th in platform. The pair accounted for five points, as the Boilermakers finished tied for 43rd place in the team standings. Purdue scored at the NCAA Championships for the 21st consecutive season while having a diving All-American for the 11th time in the last 12 years. The Boilermakers were without two-time national champion diver Steele Johnson, who exercised an Olympic practice waiver this season, and 2016 Big Ten breaststroke champion Marat Amaltdinov, who declined his spot at the NCAA Championships in order to train for the Russian Olympic Trials.

Athletics Department Announces Summer Interns

The athletics department has selected six student-athletes to serve as interns in various areas this summer.

The third-year internship program, set up by football academic support services coordinator Amy Kendall, aims to provide student-athletes real-world experience working within a university athletics department and help them in their desired career paths.

There were 26 student-athlete applicants for six positions, one each in communications (Race Johnson - football), compliance (Maddy Olsen - soccer), John Purdue Club (Rachel Ho - swimming & diving), marketing/fan experience (Symone Black - track & field), ticket operations (Kaersten Meitz - swimming & diving) and the John R. Wooden Leadership Institute (Bilal Marshall - football).

New BAC Leadership

Below is the 2016-17 leadership team for the Boilermaker Athletic Council, which consists of student-athlete leaders from all sports. The focus of the group is leadership and production - in the classroom, on their teams and in the community. The group also serves as a conduit between student-athletes and department administrators.

President: Christa Szalach (soccer)
Vice President: Brian Ghiselli (baseball)
Compliance Liaison: Annie Spalding (swimming)
Secretary: Kristen Hoppman (softball)
Communications: Claire Albertz (soccer)

No Home Cooking This Weekend

No fooling: All Purdue spring sports teams are on the road this weekend:

Baseball: at Penn State (today through Sunday)
Women’s Golf: at Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic, Athens, Ga. (today through Sunday)
Softball: at Iowa (today through Sunday)
Men’s Tennis: at Michigan State (Saturday), at Michigan (Sunday)
Women’s Tennis: at Indiana (Saturday)
Track & Field: at Stanford Invite (Friday and Saturday), at Texas Relays (Wednesday through Saturday) and at Bobcat Invitational - at Texas State (Thursday through Saturday)


Condolences to the family of former Purdue men’s basketball player Eugene Parker (1975-78), who passed away Thursday at the age of 60. Parker and his wife, June, were co-chairs of the leadership steering committee for the Mackey Complex Project. Parker was chiefly regarded as one of the premier sports agents … The entire football team will visit Sunnyside Intermediate School (fifth and sixth grade) in Lafayette this afternoon … Wrestling’s five-member recruiting class compiled a 209-8 record with three state championships this past season. In December, WIN Magazine ranked the class eighth. For more information, click here … Two former Purdue swimmers are teaming up with the iSWIM Masters Swim Club and the YWCA in Lafayette to offer free adult swim lessons during the month of April. Rachel Sitarz (2004-07) is president and founder of iSWIM, while Jordan Giles Bonfitto (2005-08) is aquatics director at the YWCA … Here’s an updated list of Purdue Super Bowl champions expected back for the Spring Game: Drew Brees, Bob Griese, Brandon Gorin, Gene Mruczkowski, David Nugent, Chukky Okobi, Jim Schwantz, John Standeford and Jeff Zgonina … Congratulations to assistant women’s swimming coach Erica Beine and her husband, Dave, on the birth of their son, Mitchell Dionysius, on March 29.


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