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Purdue fires Danny Hope despite second consecutive bowl bid

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer
Danny Hope is out as Purdue's head coach. (US Presswire)

Sitting at 3-6 after a blowout home loss to Penn State, there seemed little chance that Purdue could do anything to save Danny Hope's job. And in the end, Hope and the Boilermakers did all they could do, sweeping their final three games over Iowa, Illinois and Indiana to send the program to its second straight bowl game.

But even that wasn't enough, as Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke announced Sunday that Hope has been dismissed as the Boilermakers' coach after four seasons in charge. He leaves with a 22-27 overall record in West Lafayette, having gone 5-7, 4-8 and 7-6 in his previous three seasons.

The 2011 and 2012 bowl appearances were the program's first since 2007. Hope finishes 13-19 in Big Ten play.

"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 in a statement released by the university. “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 receiver a $600,000 buyout.

Hope was an assistant at Purdue 1997-01 under Joe Tiller. He returned to the Purdue staff in 2008 after five seasons as the coach at FCS Eastern Kentucky, where he went 35-22 and led the Colonels to the 2007 playoffs. As the chosen successor to Tiller, Hope spent one year as the team's assistant head coach and offensive line coach before ascending to the head coach's position in 2009.

GoldandBlack.com reported that despite Purdue's unfortunate run of major injuries -- one that seemed to last from nearly the beginning to the end of Hope's tenure -- the 38-14 blowout loss to Wisconsin on Oct. 13 of this season "essentially sealed Hope's fate."

The Boilermakers had expectations of competing in the Big Ten Leaders Division but started the conference season 0-5. Four of those losses, including an embarrassing 44-28 loss at Minnesota, came by 16 points or more.

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