West Lafayette – On Sunday the Darrell Hazell era ended in West Lafayette, with many people being happy that happened. The next question for everyone from President Daniels to John Purdue Club Members is who will be the next coach. Here are a few candidates to watch with tier one type experience.
1. P.J. Fleck.
The Western Michigan head coach has Broncos off to a tremendous start, going on undefeated on the season. Fleck is a young coach with tremendous upside. He has the heart of his players and has shown he can win. It will be important for Purdue to get someone who is exciting to generate optimism about the program, but also someone who can recruit. The only downside to Fleck is not having much Power Five conference experience. Purdue’s last two coaches have been from smaller with less than stellar performances.
2. Les Miles
This is the big and sexy hire for the Boilermakers. Purdue fans far and wide have been calling for Miles to get hired by the Boilermakers, with good reason. Miles would be an immediate bump in recruiting, legitimacy, and star power. Purdue would immediately be on the map with a hire like Miles. The bigger question is whether Miles would take the job. Miles is on the north side of 60 and doesn’t have many coaching years left. however the last time Purdue hired an older coach, it went pretty well.
3. Art Briles
Briles seems to be the most risky hire for Purdue. He has the ability to coach, would bring a revolutionary style of offense desired by many, and has a proven record. Briles also comes with some baggage. Briles was unceremoniously removed from Baylor after a scandal that rocked the university. There appears to be a commitment to Purdue football from Daniels down to the coaching staff to improve the state of the program. A new coach who is well vetted should be expected.
4. Lane Kiffin
This has been a name that seems surprising to most Purdue faithful. Kiffin is enjoying an easy job as the Offensive Coordinator of the number one rated Alabama Crimson Tide. Kiffin has some less than stellar performances as the head coach of Tennessee and USC. This would be a big risk for Purdue, as Kiffin isn’t an established head coach with proven ability. What Kiffin does bring is a brilliant offensive mind as well as recruiting ability. The biggest question here, as with Miles, would be if he would event want to come to Purdue.
It seems apparent that Purdue Athletic Direct Mike Bobinski wants to make a splash in the hiring of the next football coach. Bobinski said during the press conference Sunday that he wants the program to be at a championship caliber. For Bobinski to make that dream reality, it will take hiring one of these four coaches, or someone like them.
Be sure to check out Indiana Sports Report Tuesday for the list of Tier Two coaches that could replace Darrell Hazell in West Lafayette.