Rival NFL GM's Have Strong Ties To Purdue
New Purdue head football coach Darrell Hazell came strongly endorsed by NFL general managers Ryan Grigson and Rick Smith, both Boilermaker alums.

Dec. 14, 2012

What Grigson and Smith Say About Hazell

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - In the process of hiring new head football coach Darrell Hazell earlier this month, Purdue athletics director Morgan Burke solicited the advice and council of two National Football League general managers - Ryan Grigson of the Indianapolis Colts and Rick Smith of the Houston Texans - who also happen to be Boilermaker alums.

Grigson was an offensive tackle from 1991 to 1994 and Smith a defensive back from 1987 to 1991 and subsequently a graduate assistant coach (1993) and assistant coach (1994-95). So their paths clearly crossed at Purdue.

Now, they are rivals in the AFC South, and their teams square off Sunday in Houston.

ESPN.com's Adam Schefter wrote about their relationship - and how Smith helped Grigson, who, in turn, has helped Colts' head coach Chuck Pagano and his battle with leukemia - in his 10 Spot commentary today.

"Smith and Grigson have been instrumental in building two of football's best teams," Schefter said. "Smith has stockpiled enough talent to make the Texans a certified Super Bowl contender, while Grigson has put back together a franchise that had fallen into disrepair. Now, for the first time, they will square off as general managers the way they once did at practice at Purdue."