Purdue Extends Tiller's Contract Two More Years

Contract now goes through 2003 season

Jan. 23, 1998

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Athletic director Morgan Burke has announced Purdue's decision to extend the contract of head football coach Joe Tiller for two more years, through the season of 2003.

Tiller, who came to Purdue in December of 1996 and signed a five-year contract, engineered the second-greatest turnaround in the nation last year, taking a 3-8 record from 1996 and producing a 9-3 record in 1997.

"We are very pleased with the leadership and accomplishments shown by Joe Tiller in his first year at Purdue," Burke said. "He fits in well with the Boilermaker family and has done a wonderful job. We are not going to discuss details of his contract, but I will say that his compensation opportunities in this package are competitive with top 25 programs throughout the country."

"I am pleased that Purdue's administration recognizes and appreciates the achievements of our football team," Tiller said. "This program is headed upward and we intend to make it competitive with the country's elite. I love the Purdue community and the future of Boilermaker football."

Tiller, 55, won Football News National Coach-of-the-Year honors as well as Big Ten Coach-of-the-Year plaudits this past season. He guided Purdue to a second-place tie in the league, No. 15 national rankings in the final polls (the school's best since 1979) and a victory in the Builders Square Alamo Bowl.

The Boilers led the Big Ten passing and total offense in 1997. They ranked seventh in the NCAA in total offense, 13th in passing and 22nd in scoring. The opportunistic defense helped the team lead the conference and rank ninth in the country in turnover margin with a school-record plus-14 total.

Purdue fans took notice of the football improvement in a big way. The Boilers averaged 51,690 fans per home game, an increase of 14.1 percent over the previous year and their highest average since 1988 (the last season Purdue students received free tickets). Over 15,000 Old Gold and Black fans attended the Alamo Bowl game in San Antonio, Tex.