The Head Coach: Darrell Hazell
Who is this guy anyway?
Coach Hazell takes over at Purdue after two seasons as the Head Honcho at Kent State, where he turned a pretty cruddy Golden Eagles squad into an 11-3 team in 2012. He also spent six seasons as a WR and assistant coach at Ohio State under Jim Tresselball.
I didn't really know that much about Coach Hazell before he was hired, but starting with his opening press conference, he has done a good job of getting the fans behind him. It remains to be seen if he can turn the program around, but he is taking a completely different approach than the last guy. Instead of closing off practices to media and fans, he invites them to come and watch. Rather than ignoring the various organizations at Purdue and in the community (and in the weight room), he has been getting out and meeting them.
Like I said, it remains to be seen how Coach Hazell does; I obviously hope he does a great job.
Quote Worth Posting on Your Facebook Wall:
Don't be the guy who posts quotes on your facebook wall. If you feel that you have to do it, for the love of God don't post quotes as photos.
Meme It Up!
During his introductory press conference, Hazell took a Purdue hat and scrunched in the sides before wearing it. Somehow this turned into a thing (at least among the Boilernet) called "Hazelling Your Hat". There is a twitter account @CoachHazellsHat, the athletic department created a video to demonstrate the proper way to "Hazell Your Hat", and there was a facebook contest.
Not really. @CoachHazell claims to be an official account; it has an egg avatar and 0 tweets.
In his place, we'll put a tweet up from Offensive Line Coach Jim Bridge:
What a great Derby.Love watching those beautiful animals run.— Jim Bridge (@CoachJimBridge) May 4, 2013
Manning the Offense: John Shoop
Who is this guy anyway?
As far as I know, hiring John Shoop is the only controversial thing that Hazell has done in his short time at Purdue. Shoop has spent a lot of time in the NFL as a quarterbacks coach, with stops at Chicago, Carolina, Tampa and Oakland. While with the Bears, he was also Offensive Coordinator from 2001-03. Shoop also coached the offense at North Carolina from 2007-11.
Most of the negative press I have seen on Shoop stems from his time as Bears OC. That was ten years ago, so maybe he has gotten better? He definitely didn't do anything innovative with North Caolina's offense; a quick glance at the total yardage for the 2010 and 2011 seasons ranks the Tar Heels in the 40's.
I watched the jersey scrimmage (a week before Spring Game) and noticed these things about Shoop's offense:
- A lot more lining up under center. There is still some shotgun, but this is definitely closer to a pro-type offense than a spread.
- Sometimes there would be an empty backfield and the QB would still be under center.
- I'm pretty sure Shoop coached from the booth, not from the field. I have more confidence in OCs that coach from the booth.
I'm not as down on Shoop as a lot of others are; to be fair, they have experience with him, and I don't. We'll see what the offense looks like when the games start for real in the Fall.
This guy is on twitter @coachjohnshoop. Shoop has all of 6 tweets so far. Clicking on one of them led me to find out that his wife, Marica Mount Shoop is a ordained Presbyterian minister. She also holds a masters degree from Vanderbilt and a PhD from Emory University. She even has a blog where she discusses football things like the UNC scandal and dealing with haters.
We'll use a tweet from TE Coach/Recruiting Coordinator Gerad Parker:
Purdue Football wishes a happy Mother's Day to all the great mom's out there! #boilerup— Gerad Parker (@GeradParker1) May 12, 2013
Manning the Defense: Greg Hudson
Who is this guy anyway?
Greg Hudson has been the linebackers coach for the past three seasons at Florida State. Prior to that, he served as Defensive Coordinator at Minnesota (2000-2004) and East Carolina (2005-2009).
There is not as much information out there about Hudson, but most people seem to like the hire. While he wasn't the DC at FSU, he has played a role in building a pretty stout defense there. Travis at Hammer and Rails has watched some #goacc football, and he seems happy with the hire.
Hopefully Hudson can shore up a defense that gave up tons of yards and points in 2012. While he certainly won't be working with the level of talent he had in Tallahassee, there are some pieces in place at Purdue that should lead to improvement.
No, so we'll use a tweet from DB coach Jon Heacock:
"GOT RECRUITING" Back Home in Indy! Hall of Fame to The Valley and West Coast Sunshine State....WOW!!! #BoilerUp— Jon Heacock (@Coach_Heacock) May 9, 2013