Purdue Boilermakers

In this photo taken Tuesday, June 3, 2014, visitors to the Como Town amusement park ride on the 100-year-old Cafesjian's Carousel in St. Paul, Minn. Parking at the Como Town and adjacent Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is free but there is a charge to ride the Carousel. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
AP Photo/Jim Mone

Post-signing day coaching shuffle is an annual tradition

1 Comment

It may just be a coincidence, but it never fails. As soon as the ink dries on the faxes from National Signing Day, assistant coaches change jobs left and right. Of course, this may be a coincidence because signing day still falls in the prime time for assistants to be on the move, which typically plays out in the months after head coaches switch jobs. Regardless, it leads to assistant coaches making the final sales pitches to recruits to come to schools they will end up not being employed by. It’s weird, but it is the reality of the game.

There were a flurry of post-signing day coaching changes that became official this week. Florida officially welcomed Torrian Gray as the new defensive backs coach after spending the last 10 seasons at Virginia Tech. Purdue added offensive line coach Darrell Funk to its staff. Oregon’s high school relations director, Sean Dillon, is joining former Oregon assistant-turned UCF head coach Scott Frost at UCF. Dillon takes on the title of director of player personnel at UCF.

Southern Miss is a little bit of a different situation given the late change in head coaches this year. Jay Hopson has reportedly informed multiple holdovers from the coaching staff they will not be retained (Jon Williams, Justin Roberts, Dayne Brown). That has to be a bit awkward for some of the newest additions to the program, although changes had to be expected for Southern Miss given the much more recent coaching change.

But hey, this happens in college football. Every. Single. Year.

Helmet sticker to Football Scoop.

Ex-Syracuse RBs coach takes same job at Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - OCTOBER 31:  Head Coach Darrell Hazell of the Purdue Boilermakers looks on during the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Ross-Ade Stadium on October 31, 2015 in West Lafayette, Indiana.  (Photo by Cory Seward/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

With one personnel move Tuesday, Darrell Hazell cut in half the openings on his Purdue coaching staff.

The head coach confirmed via a press release that DeAndre Smith has been added to the staff as his running backs coach.  Smith will replace Jafar Williams, who left to take the same job at Rutgers.

“DeAndre’s track record speaks for itself,” Hazell said in a statement. “He has a special ability to develop the best rushers in the country. I look forward to him taking our stable of running backs to another level.”

Smith had spent the past three seasons coaching running backs at Syracuse. He also previously coached the backfield at New Mexico (2012, 2008), Illinois (2010-11), UNLV (2009), Miami of Ohio (2005-07) and Northern Illinois (2001-04).

Hazell has now hired two former Orange assistants since the end of the regular season, the first being incoming quarterbacks coach Tim Lester.

SEC, Ohio State tops on Carolina, Denver Super Bowl rosters

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 29:  Former Tennesse quarterback Peyton Manning and current quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts is honored alongside his former college coach Phillip Fulmer before the start of the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks on October 29, 2005 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Getty Images
5 Comments

Cam Newton may be hurtling toward history, but the former Auburn quarterback will not be the lone player representing the SEC in next month’s Super Bowl.  In fact, he’s far, far from it.

As you may have heard, Newton’s Carolina Panthers are set to square off with Peyton Manning‘s Denver Broncos in the 50th Super Bowl Feb. 3.  Manning and Newton are two of and FBS-best 30 former SEC players who are on the two teams’ rosters, which includes those on the 53-man, reserved/injured list, practice squad, reserved/suspended by commissioner and reserve/future squad.

The Pac-12 is next with 23, followed by the Big Ten (21) and ACC (17).  The final Power Five conference, the Big 12, has 10, three less than the Mountain West’s 13.  The AAC, with eight, is the only Group of Five league to come close to double digits.  The MAC, meanwhile, is the only conference to be shutout, while all of the other divisions in the NCAA combined for 18 players.

Nearly every SEC team is represented in this year’s big game, the lone exception being Vanderbilt.  Of the dozen schools in the Pac-12, only Arizona and Washington State are missing.  Both the ACC and Big Ten have 11 of their 14 teams in the game, the lone exceptions being Clemson, Louisville and Virginia Tech for the former and Illinois, Minnesota and Rutgers for the latter.

One of those B1G schools that’s in, Nebraska, has had at least one player on a Super Bowl roster for 23 straight years, the longest active streak for any FBS program.

Ohio State easily outdistances individual schools with seven, three more than the four each for Auburn, Georgia Tech, Oregon State and Tennessee.  Alabama, Arizona State, Colorado State, Georgia, Nevada, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas A&M, USC and Utah.

A total of 20 schools have two players each, including Coastal Carolina, the only non-FBS program in the group.  The other 19 includes Arkansas, Boise State, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina, San Diego State, South Carolina, Stanford, Troy, Tulane, Washington and Wisconsin.

Purdue assistant completes Chris Ash’s first Rutgers staff

Chris Ash
Rutgers athletics
Leave a comment

Exactly five weeks after officially leaving Ohio State to become the head coach at Rutgers, Chris Ash has completed his first coaching staff.

Jafar Williams, Ash announced in a press release, has been hired as the Scarlet Knights’ running backs coach.  Williams had spent the past three seasons in the same job with Purdue.

Williams becomes the ninth and final on-field assistant to be hired by Ash.

“It was important that the person who filled the running back coaching position was someone who is a great fit with this coaching staff,” said Ash in a statement. “I think we accomplished that with the addition of Jafar. He is someone who knows this league and has had success in the Big Ten. Jafar also knows the Northeast region which is a great asset in recruiting.”

Prior to Purdue, Williams spent two seasons as the running backs coach at Kent State. He began his FBS coaching career the year before that as a special teams quality control assistant at Northwestern.

Louisville and Purdue to square off in Lucas Oil Stadium in 2017

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 13: Purdue Boilermakers mascot Purdue Pete is seen during the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 13, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images
1 Comment

It turns out Purdue had more to share with regards to their future schedules on Tuesday. In addition to a pair of future games against Boston College, the Boilermakers also added a future neutral site game in Indianapolis against Louisville.

Purdue and Louisville will meet in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on September 2, 2017. The two schools have met just once before, in 1987. The game that season ended in a 22-22 tie. The game also continues Purdue’s initiative to try and bring their football program to Indianapolis after playing in the stadium against Notre Dame in 2014.

Louisville’s power conference scheduling requirement is already met annually with regular season contests against the SEC’s Kentucky, so the addition of Purdue in 2017 does not help Louisville meet any scheduling requirements other than to fill out the 2017 schedule. Louisville will also play Kent State and Murray State in 2017.

The same is true for Purdue. The Big Ten’s new power conference scheduling requirement was already satisfied with a road game at Missouri in 2017. The addition of the neutral site game against Louisville rounds out Purdue’s non-conference schedule, which also includes one home game against Ohio.