WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Purdue is opening up its head football coaching spot. Athletics director Morgan Burke has announced that Danny Hope will not return as head football coach.
Purdue will hold a press conference today at 6:30 p.m. in Mackey Arena.
Hope, who is finishing up his fourth year in the position, will not coach the team in the upcoming bowl game. He compiled a 22-27 record at Purdue, including a 13-19 mark in Big Ten Conference games and a 15-13 mark at Ross-Ade Stadium.
"There is no question that our football program has seen considerable growth under Danny's leadership, particularly in the areas of academics, player development and recruiting," Burke said. "I applaud him for his passion about Purdue University and the young men he coaches. He and his staff have devoted their lives to improving the program, but as I told him earlier this afternoon, those efforts did not equate to the consistent on-field success that both of us expected.
"I want to personally thank Danny and his wife, Sally, for their contributions not only to Purdue but to the Greater Lafayette community."
Hope will receive a $600,000 buyout for his contract, which would have extended until 2016.
A national search is underway for Hope's replacement.
Current Boilermaker wide receivers coach Patrick Higgins will serve as interim head coach for the bowl game.
Sources within the Purdue Athletic Department say Coach Hope and his players were informed earlier Sunday that Hope would not be returning as the Boilermaker's head coach next season, despite the team earning a bowl bid.
After beginning the year with a 3-1 record the Boilermakers did not respond to playing against Big Ten competition and lost their first 5 conference games for the first time since the 1993 season.
The Boilermakers bounced back, but even winning three out of their last four games could not save Danny Hope's job.
After defeating IU 56-35 at Ross-Ade Stadium on Saturday afternoon, Danny Hope was asked about his future as the Boilermaker head coach.
"Do I expect to be the coach next year? I don't have any idea. But, either way, I am going to be OK. I have never done any second-guessing about my effort and my commitment. I have committed my life to Purdue football for the last four-and-a-half years, and sometimes it hasn't been reciprocated from many others on the outside," said Hope. "I don't have any second guesses in my mind or my heart about the commitment I've made to Purdue football. Any my loyalty will always be to Purdue football," said Hope.
In his 4 years as Purdue's head coach, he was known best by his players for being hardworking, results-oriented, enthusiastic and passionate.
"I have worked 85 to 100 hours a week, 50 weeks a year for the last four and a half years to try and return this program to national prominence," said Hope. "We were a long ways away in many areas of our program, and what it took was elbow grease and commitment to get us back to where we are right now: where we are in post-season play in back-to-back years and made improvements in every phase of the program. It is just that plain and simple," said Hope.
What a difference and year can make. Last season the Boilermakers finished the regular season with a 6-6 record and earned a bowl bid to the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. After defeating Western Michigan in Detroit, Purdue finished the season with a winning record for the first time since 2007.
The 2011 Boilermakers recorded a number of signature wins, including a victory over previously undefeated Illinois, beating Ohio State in overtime and downing Indiana in Bloomington.
Danny Hope arrived at Purdue and spent the 2008 season as associate head coach, working with the offensive line, managing recruiting and monitoring academics. He was named to the position Jan. 11, 2008, with a succession plan in place for him to become Purdue's 34th head coach upon the retirement of Joe Tiller at the end of the year.
An assistant under Tiller at Purdue from 1997 to 2001, Hope returned to the Boilermakers from Eastern Kentucky University - owner of the longest non-losing season streak in NCAA Division I football - where he served as head coach from 2003 to 2007. His five-year record was 35-22 (.614 winning percentage), including 32-8 (.800 winning percentage) in Ohio Valley Conference games.
The Purdue Athletic Department will hold a press conference Sunday night in the Mackey Arena press room. The conference is scheduled to begin around 6:30 p.m.
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