WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — News 18 is gaining new insight on what is next for Purdue’s football program a day after the university severed tires with head coach Darrell Hazell.
Hazell’s firing comes one day after a homecoming loss to Iowa 49-35 on Saturday, and after an overall record of 9-33 while at Purdue.
Monday morning GoldandBlack.com Publisher Alan Karpick spoke with News 18 This Morning about the university’s weekend decision, the outlook for the rest of the season, and about the future with newly named interim coach Gerad Parker – who until now was Purdue’s wide receivers coach.
“I think Gerad Parker’s an interesting guy. He’s going to bring some enthusiasm. He’s 35 years old — that seems very young to me, but he’s got that enthusiasm,” Karpick said. “But he’s in a very strange situation, he finds out yesterday that his head coach is no longer the guy and that he’s running the show. So he’s gonna have to get up to speed quickly, but I think he’s going to bring some … enthusiasm, some fire, hopefully keep this team focused as much as possible for the remaining six games because that was the message yesterday: that there’s still a lot of football left to be played. And that’s what I think is going to be an interesting thing to see how that works out.”
So, can they win another game? News 18 asked Karpick.
“They won’t be a favorite in any other game … I think they can,” he said. “It’s just going to be a rough road.”
Purdue talked about focusing on the rest of the season. But you have got to start thinking about next year and the next head coach. How’s that going to work? Karpick was asked.
“Well, it’s going to work because Mike Bobinski’s going to be starting the process right now, even though he talked about the focus being on the team. But you can talk to agents, gauge some interest through intermediaries, and it’ll be interesting to see what that list comes together with,” Karpick explained. “But you have to believe this is the most important hire in the history of Purdue football in a lot of ways. If you’re gonna get this back, you’ve got to get this decision right.”
So the remaining question would be: who could the next head coach?
Karpick gave his short list of the names floating around: P.J. Fleck, Western Michigan; Brock Spack, Illinois State; Lane Kiffin, OC and Alabama; Jeff Brohm, Western Kentucky; and Les Miles, former coach at LSU.
But again, it’s early and Karpick cautioned there are so many variables at play and it’s really just too early to go there with any confidence.
News 18 will have more on this story Monday night on News 18 at Five and Six.