Jan. 11, 2008
VIDEO: Press Conference Announcing Hiring | 2008 Purdue Schedule
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue athletics director Morgan J. Burke today announced the hiring of Danny Hope as associate head football coach. Hope will assume the position of head coach upon the retirement of Joe Tiller following the 2008 season.
The 49-year-old Hope will be signed to a six-year contract, with the final five as head coach. His appointment as head coach is subject to Board of Trustees ratification.
"I'm delighted to welcome Danny and Sally Hope back to Purdue," University President France A. Córdova said. "I am excited about the prospects for Purdue football next season under Joe Tiller's leadership and in the longer term under Danny Hope. Both of these coaches are proven winners who understand the high standards our university sets for its athletic programs. They will be an excellent team working together in 2008. I am grateful to these fine coaches for helping us lay the foundation for future success."
An assistant under Tiller at Purdue from 1997 to 2001, Hope returns to the Boilermakers from Eastern Kentucky University, where he has served as head coach since 2003. His five-year record was 35-22 (.614 winning percentage), including 32-8 (.800 winning percentage) in Ohio Valley Conference games.
"It's great to be a Boilermaker again," Hope said. "I am honored and humbled to be back at a special place like Purdue University. I'm looking forward to being on Coach Tiller's staff again. The years I spent at Purdue were some of the greatest of my coaching life. I can't wait to get started."
During the 2007 season, Eastern Kentucky finished 9-3 and won the OVC championship with an 8-0 mark. The Colonels advanced to the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) playoffs and were ranked 13th in the final poll. The nine wins were the most by an Eastern Kentucky team since 1995 and the conference championship was the first since 1997. Hope was named OVC Coach of the Year, FCS Region 3 Coach of the Year and was a finalist for both American Football Coaches Association and Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year honors.
"Danny was a well-respected assistant coach for us and has gone on to be a successful head coach," Burke said. "We conducted a national search, and, at the end of the day, found that our best candidate was someone Joe and I and the Purdue community knows. Danny came highly recommended by everyone we spoke with, including those who know him best - his former players. His vision for this program is based on character and mental toughness. He believes the pursuit of academic success and the pursuit of respect in the community support the quest to win championships. Danny is energetic, passionate and results oriented. He was our first choice, and I am confident we have found the right guy to succeed Joe."
Tiller will enter his 12th season as head coach at Purdue with a record of 83-54, a .606 winning percentage. He is one victory shy of equaling Jack Mollenkopf for the most in school history. Under Tiller, the Boilermakers have won 51 Big Ten Conference games, the fourth-most over the last 11 years. Tiller's teams have qualified for 10 of the 15 bowl games in school annals. In the 15 years prior to Tiller's arrival, Purdue was 54-107-5 and played in one bowl game. Tiller's 17-year career head coaching record, including six seasons at Wyoming from 1991 to 1996, stands at 122-84-1, a .592 winning percentage.
"This is a great day for Purdue football," Tiller said. "We are excited about the 2008 season and beyond. Danny is the perfect choice to take over this program. He is charismatic, hardworking and has a passion for the sport of college football. He also has head-coaching experience; he understands the difference between making suggestions and making decisions. I feel very good that he will be my successor."
For the past year, Burke and Tiller have discussed a succession plan similar to the one involving Gene Keady and Matt Painter that took place with the Purdue men's basketball program in 2004-05. Burke and Tiller agreed that the coach would not name his successor but would be involved in the process. Others who took part in the search were Jeff Bolin, associate dean of the College of Science and faculty representative for intercollegiate athletics; Roger Blalock
, senior associate athletics director; and Christie Sahley, assistant dean of the College of Science, professor of biological sciences and faculty representative for intercollegiate athletics.
As part of the one-year transition leading to the appointment of Hope as head coach, a current assistant will be reassigned on the staff.
In addition to its conference championship last season, Eastern Kentucky finished second in 2003, 2004 and 2005. The Colonels led the OVC in total offense on three occasions and were tops in pass efficiency defense, tackles for loss, sacks and turnover margin a year ago. Eastern Kentucky produced four All-Americans and 24 first team all-conference performers under Hope.
Hope was an active figure both on campus and in the Richmond, Ky., area. He and his team were involved in many community service initiatives, including an annual blood drive (as Tiller has done at Purdue). Other projects included the Free Others of Deprivation food, toy and clothing drive; Special Motor Fitness Clinic for children with special needs; and the EKU Student Organization Breast Cancer Awareness Auction.
Hope's Head Coaching Record
Year School Overall Conference (Place)
2003 Eastern Kentucky 7-5 6-2 (2nd)
2004 Eastern Kentucky 6-5 6-2 (T2nd)
2005 Eastern Kentucky 7-4 7-1 (2nd)
2006 Eastern Kentucky 6-5 5-3 (T4th)
2007 Eastern Kentucky 9-3 8-0 (1st)
Totals (5 years) 35-22 (.614) 32-8 (.800)
"I would not be in
the NFL today if it were not for Danny Hope
... He is absolutely the right guy to build on the current foundation
of Purdue football."
, 2000 All-America left tackle at Purdue, two-time Pro Bowl selection and member of three Super Bowl championship teams with the New England Patriots
In his previous stint with the Boilermakers, Hope coached the offensive line. Seven of his players went on to the National Football League: Ian Allen, Kelly Butler, Mark Fischer, Brandon Gorin, Matt Light, Gene Mruczkowski and Chukky Okobi. The Boilermakers played in the Alamo Bowl in 1997 and 1998, the 2000 Outback Bowl, 2001 Rose Bowl and 2001 Sun Bowl while averaging nearly eight wins per season.
"I would not be in the NFL today if it were not for Danny Hope," said Light, an All-America left tackle at Purdue, two-time Pro Bowl selection and member of three Super Bowl championship teams with the New England Patriots. "Not only did he help me from a technique standpoint, but he taught me what it takes from an intensity level. He is absolutely the right guy to build on the current foundation of Purdue football."
In 2000, Light became the Boilermakers' first All-America offensive lineman since tackle Karl Singer in 1965 and first All-Big Ten offensive lineman since tackle Steve McKenzie and guard Dale Schwann in 1979.
Upon leaving Purdue, Hope served as assistant head coach at Louisville in 2002.
Hope initially worked with Tiller at Wyoming during the 1996 season. Hope's other experience includes stints as an assistant at Louisville (1987-94) and Oklahoma (1995). Among the players he coached at Louisville was Roman Oben, an offensive tackle now in his 12th season in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers. Hope began his coaching career as an assistant at Manatee High School in Bradenton, Fla., from 1981 to 1984. Manatee won the Florida Class 4A state championship in 1983. Hope was a graduate assistant at Louisville in 1985 and 1986.
Regarded as a tireless recruiter with a keen eye for talent, Hope was named one of the nation's best in 1993 and 2000 by Tom Lemming, editor of Prep Football Report. Hope has extensive contacts in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, the Gulf Coast and Miami areas in Florida, as well as Chicagoland. He also has recruited in the states of Indiana, Kentucky and Mississippi.
Hope started as an offensive guard at Eastern Kentucky from 1977 to 1980 for the legendary Roy Kidd, whom Hope succeeded as head coach. Hope was a member of the 1979 Division I-AA national championship team and captain of the 1980 national runner-up squad. He graduated in 1981 with a B.S. degree in psychology and a minor in health education.
A native of Gainesville, Fla., Charles Daniel Hope (born Jan. 7, 1959) attended Miami Killian Senior High School. He and his wife, Sally, have a son, Chaz, who is a senior at Madison Central High School in Richmond.
What They Are Saying About Danny Hope
"I'm extremely excited. It's a great move for the program. When I was there, he did a phenomenal job as offensive line coach and made my job a lot easier. He did a great job as the head coach at Eastern Kentucky, and his track record speaks for itself. He understands the past, present and future of Purdue football. I think he's absolutely the right guy for the job." - Drew Brees, Purdue All-American quarterback (1997-2000), currently with the New Orleans Saints
"I remember Coach Hope as being more than a football coach. He was a leader with integrity who demanded excellence from his players. He was always full of so much excitement and positive energy that it rubbed off on the entire team." - Chris Clopton, Purdue wide receiver-running back-defensive back (1997-2000), currently an assistant director of the John Purdue Club
"He's a real spirited coach and a great guy. I don't remember a day he wasn't intense in practice. I know he motivated his players, and they loved playing for him." - Rosevelt Colvin, Purdue defensive end (1995-98), currently with the New England Patriots
"Everybody loved playing for him. He has so much spirit, whether it's coaching, recruiting or in the weight room, and he instills that enthusiasm in you as a player. He really stressed the importance of being mentally tough as well as physically tough. A couple of years ago, Matt Light and I worked his camp at Eastern Kentucky, and you could tell that his players there felt the same way about him that we did. I think it's great that he is coming back to Purdue." - Brandon Gorin, Purdue offensive tackle (1997-2000), currently with the St. Louis Rams
"I loved playing for him; all the guys did. He was really well respected. He demanded a lot, and he got everything out of us. He leads by example. I'm glad he is getting the opportunity to be the head coach at Purdue. He will do a great job." - Gene Mruczkowski, Purdue offensive guard-center (1999-2002), currently with the Miami Dolphins
"This is a great move. When you look at the offensive line the year we went to the Rose Bowl, none of us were high school All-Americans or blue-chip recruits, and he's the reason we had the success we did and we went on to play in the National Football League. Now he will be able to do the same thing for the entire program, not just the offensive line. He will bring some swagger and attitude. Personally, I looked to him as a father figure as much as a coach. We have remained close, and I couldn't be happier for him." - Chukky Okobi, Purdue offensive guard-center (1997-2000), currently with the Houston Texans
"He definitely brings an attitude to coaching. He's a high-energy guy and a great coach. I like him a lot." - Kyle Orton, Purdue quarterback (2001-04), currently with the Chicago Bears