Purdue decided to throw their hat in the ring today for what looks to be a very active coaching carousel this off-season by relieving Darrell Hazell of his duties. Though the timing of this move is a bit surprising, it would’ve been more surprising had Purdue not made a change before 2017. Hazell has been a massive disappointment in West Lafayette, putting up a record of 9-33 in 3.5 seasons. Where can Purdue look for a replacement? Here are a few options, some more realistic than others:
Tom Herman, Houston: I mean, Purdue has to at least make the call to Herman’s agent. It would be an absolute heist if Purdue swayed Herman to coach the Boilers next season.
Les Miles, formerly LSU: Big name, but way too late in his career to start over at a place that will take a few years to rebuild. Might help Purdue with recruiting in the short-term, but this would not be a stable choice long-term.
PJ Fleck, Western Michigan: Typically this would be a realistic and solid choice for Purdue, but with many high-profile jobs opening this year, Fleck will likely have better options.
Ken Niumatalolo, Navy: Someone needs to call this guy. He does more with less better than anyone in the country. He probably has a better current situation than anything that Purdue can offer but it is absolutely worth a shot.
Scott Satterfield, Appalachian State: Great with QBs, which was Purdue’s identity before their post-Tiller decline. Satterfield will get picked up by someone soon, and this would be an excellent choice for Purdue if they can get there first.
My Pick Mike Leach, Washington State: Flashy offense, fiery personality; a shock to the system that Purdue desperately needs. Leach is 55 years old, so this has long-term potential. The Big Ten West would have to prepare for the Air Raid in between their weekly slog fests. This would be fun, different, and a little risky, but has a very high ceiling. Purdue needs to make this happen.
Scott Frost, UCF: Frost is probably waiting on Oregon to open up (which may also happen this year), but his offense would cause similar headaches in the Big Ten West as Leach’s.
There are a number of coordinators that Purdue could realistically grab, but they’re in a situation where they need a name and a more proven commodity. Danny Hope and Darrell Hazell were busts, the third attempt has to be right or the hole to dig out of may become insurmountably deep.