Friday, March 01, 2013

More On Danny Hope

Danny kept talking to WLFI and they broke it into a two-part miniseries, like Lonesome Dove. Part two is available on their site.

Among the wonderful nuggets included:

"My players were like my sons."

Coach Hope talked about the "football family" and how he went to the bowl game because he wanted to see his guys play... and that if it had been his son, he'd be there, so since the players were like his sons, he showed up. I know it's nice for football coaches to be the senior figure that perhaps some kids don't have in life, but this just comes across as a big too far to me. Perhaps one more indicator that he was too close to his players to be a disciplinarian or to hold them accountable.

Hope said he "allowed myself to become the scapegoat" for anything that happened with the program.

IMAGINE THAT! The head coach being responsible for any and all aspects of the program. Meager (by comparison) as his $1M salary might have been, he was the head man and thus all aspects of the program are ultimately his responsibility. It seems ludicrous that I even wrote that sentence.

Danny thinks he'd still be in the black and gold had the fans only shown up more. (Oh and another win would have sealed the deal.)

Hope said that he felt that if attendance had remained in the high 50,000s or more, or if he would have won one or two more games, he'd still be there. I guess that's possible, but is he honestly not making the connection between his stewardship and the plummeting attendance and dearth of wins?

Following up on Hope's somewhat petty, vague and completely Hope-like interview with WLFI, the talented Mike Carmin demonstrated how I think many of us gleaned he felt about Hope all along in a very good column you can read here.

Carmin pulls no punches, calling out the odd inconsistencies and lack of details in some of Hope's most overt claims (such as how poorly he claimed Burke handled his firing). Carmin also detailed a meeting Burke had with the coaching staff after the Penn State game back in early November:

During an interview in January with Burke, I asked when Hope was informed of the decision. He told Hope the Sunday following the victory over Indiana, but met with the entire coaching staff after the loss to Penn State in early November.
“I sat with them after Penn State – all of them,” Burke said. “I said, ‘Guys, we’re driving off a cliff. You’ve all been around these games long enough. We’ve got to do the best we can to finish this thing off on a positive note.’
“You can read into that but I wasn’t threatening. I don’t like surprises and I don’t want people to be surprised. I looked around the room and said, ‘You all know where we are, don’t you? The fan base has given up on us and the best thing we can do is try and give these kids the last three games.’ ”

I hadn't heard that before and I find it very interesting, when you consider how Hope reacted at the very end. It sounds like even beyond the fact that it should have been unsurprising to Hope given his results on the field, that Burke essentially told them the end was near earlier in the month.

A few of you have said that @HopefulDanny on Twitter should be adding to this -- but frankly, how could he? This nonsense that the real Danny Hope is spewing forth is hard to top in terms of silliness.

And as an aside, why isn't Mike Cleff -- the Sports Director at WLFI -- not pushing Hope for clarity on his weird answers about Burke, responsibility, etc.? Why didn't he ask about the meeting that Burke had with the coaching staff in early November after the PSU game?


Purdue Matt said...

Go away Danny.

Purdue Matt said...

Also, I bought season tickets after graduating in 2005 and through the first season of Hope's circus. After that I haven't renewed because I determined it wasnt a good enough product to spend my time and money.

zlionsfan said...

I can't help but feel that Hope is burning what little chance he had of finding another I-A job of consequence by doing this. I'm not sure I've seen anything he said that makes it seem like he understands what was going on and why he was fired.

Burke gave him a reasonable chance to succeed - I suppose you can argue that he should have had more money to pay assistants, but who would have been willing to work for him? (Especially now, after reading that Hope feels he was covering for people. Dude, that's, like, your job.) Four full years, enough to have virtually an entire roster of players he recruited, despite calls for Hope's firing throughout season 4 (and to a certain extent before that season).

A wiser coach would take the time to reflect on the opportunity he was given and the shortcomings it revealed; he'd go to work on improving those, maybe by looking for a job closer to the level of his previous position, and he'd work his way back to a power-conference position.

The Accidental Expat said...

Almost makes me wonder how Brock Spack would have fared given the chance and identical contract and budget parameters. Almost. Some guys are just better position coaches/coordinators or lower division HC's than they are D1-A Head Coaches. Look no further than Jim Colletto (a respected assistant coach at Ohio State), another dreadful Purdue coach hired on the cheap who was in WAY over his head from the start.

From a pure trainwreck perspective, it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if Hope sacked his old buddy Nord and hired a young, up-and-coming OC this year. You know, somebody whose idea of "opening the playbook" meant more than "rollout screen pass right" to add to to that old chestnut "rollout screen pass left."

Goodbye Danny. Take your $1M salary and nice fat buyout and find a nice DIII school to hone your act.

Dridge said...

PU has an appropriate mascot for its football program as its a proverbial train wreck. Will take someone special to put it on the right track.

U-P Boiler said...

"Hope said that he felt that if attendance had remained in the high 50,000s or more, or if he would have won one or two more games, he'd still be there."

Sure, and I'd be on the PGA tour if I could just hit those seventy foot putts.

I hate to say it, because I liked Danny Hope, but I believe he's just not a very smart or saavy man.

Okay, let's move on.

WinamacBoiler said...

So he went from being a well-liked person who we all felt a little bad for for being out of his league to being a delusional, self-righteous prick. Good job Danny! At least you gained something from it. Oh wait.

L2F said...

"Hope said that he felt that if attendance had remained in the high 50,000s or more, or if he would have won one or two more games, he'd still be there."

I really don't think he understands the correlation between winning and attendance.

Accidental Expat:
Hope probably would have bought another year had he replaced Nord after the 2011 season. But, like Carmin stated, his network was very small, so his replacement options were limited.

Bgboiler said...

The truth of the matter is Tillers success hinged on a gimmicky offense in the land of three yards and a cloud of dust. It worked the first four years however once the other teams started recruiting to defend basketball on grass the end was near. The same thing is happening in Atlanta with Paul Johnsons offense. The first four years teams were confused. Not so much anymore. Once you figure out the gimmick it goes back to players. And no matter what anyone says Hazell isn't going to be that much better. What gimmick is he going to bring to slant the playing field towards inferior athletes? No one wants to go to West Lafayette to play football. It is a predominantly white, male, ag/engineering school in a cold environment. We don't sell out our stadium like the other corn belt schools (IOWA/Nebraska) so why would a kid go there? Even when Tiller had success we didn't get the top notch player. It is hilarious to even read all of the vitriol about a guy who clearly didn't stand a chance from the get go. He accepted a job that to be honest most coaches don't want. Why do you think Hazell didn't jump at the first go around? The financial package didn't change. He was waiting on the Wisconsin situation to see if he had a chance. We all need to have perspective and realize our alma mater isn't the grand place we all think it is in the eyes of a recruit. On another note, where are all of the articles about the idiot we have coaching the basketball team? You hang the football coach yet you give the basketball coach who can't seem to recruit past one good class a break. If you look at the history of two programs the debacle that is happening on the basketball court is way more problematic than the two 6-6 regular seasons the football coach put up.
And oh yeah the issue Danny Hope is talking about with Morgan Burke has to do with how Danny Hope found out about the firing. He didn't find out Sunday night. He found out from one of his former players who just retired from the New England Patriots. You see Morgan Burke told a couple of Hope old position players before he told Hope. Real classy Morgan.

Purdue Matt said...

"We all need to have perspective and realize our alma mater isn't the grand place we all think it is in the eyes of a recruit..."

No one said it is. You're trying too hard to be a contrarian voice of reason. Go away.

WinamacBoiler said...

Golf clap, Matt. Golf clap.

Bgboiler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bgboiler said...

Purdue Matt you are the very reason Purdue is the way it is. You are like a three old child who was sent to bed without ice cream. You are still young and have no clue what it takes to win up there. You just expect Purdue to flip a switch and hire a coach that will turn it around. My question to you is would you have said the same thing about Nick Saban during his first four years at MSU? He went 6-5-1,6-6,7-5,6-6. And keep in mind he had better players than Danny Hope. Everyone focuses on how bad they got beat and by who. These teams didn't do anything out of the ordinary. For the love of God most of them ran over us. That isn't coaching. That is being physical and tackling. Hell I can remember one of the games we fumbled the ball six freaking times. How is that coaching. What about the Ohio State and Michigan victories? He obviously did a good job there. I wouldn't have had a problem with this firing if the guy was given a fair shot from the get go. If he had a pot of money comparable to his peers than by all means he didn't live up to expectations. However when your payroll is at the level of a MAC school what do you expect? Having said that I think in 5 years Purdue will be at the same crossroads. There are no more gimmicks coaches can pull out of their hat. If I am wrong I will eat crow. However I am a lot older than most of you on this blog and I have lived through the frustration for years. Plus I am close enough to it to tell all you youngsters that much of the problem is Morgan Burke and the school. Did any of you know that Purdue is one of the a few Big Ten schools where the school takes most of the BTN money? Did you know that Purdue is one of the few schools that charges the athletic department those stupid technology, admin, computer whatever fees? Most other schools don't. Ergo that is why they are starting the Legacy Fund for tickets. Yes part of it is the salaries however much of it is the school antics above and the childish behavior of fans who got sent to bed without ice cream

Kevin said...


Thomas Floyd said...

@bgboiler. Is it coaching or the players when a team doesnt come out to play in the second half? Is it coaching or the players that call the plays? How many games did purdue get out coached? You claim to be wise and older and know the program so well but the reason we've been bad is due to poor game planning. Trying to play 2 qbs only has a team go backwards. And your an idiot if you think painter needs to be fired. Cause I remember keady having a down year in the 80's and oh wait we had a three peat as big ten champs.

L2F said...

Everything the players do on the field comes back to the coaches. Whether it is fumbling, penalties, running wrong routes. If it happens in games, it is happening in practices and therefore should be corrected by the coaches. It isn't a secret that Danny ran a pretty loose ship. The players are already tweeting how much harder Spring workouts are this year. To think that more work and more discipline will not translate to more wins is ignorant. Even if we don't win any more games, at least we don't have a bumbling redneck representing our school anymore.

As for why most fans give Painter a pass. Well, over the past 6 years he has widely been considered one of the best coaches in the county and he just recruited two really good classes back to back. If we are sub .500 next year then he will be on the hot seat. And if we miss the tournament in 2013 he will be gone. But for now, in a year where 5 freshman are getting significant minutes playing in the best conference in the country, he gets a pass.

Boilergal said...

"Fire Painter, Keep Hope" said no Purdue fan ever!!!

Obvious troll or Hope relative.