MADISON COUNTY —
Danny Hope was part of a national championship football team during his playing days at Eastern Kentucky University and he later served as the head coach at his alma mater (2003-2007).
He met his wife, Sally, while attending EKU and his son, Chaz, also played for the Colonels.
Hope has tremendous connection to the school and its tradition-rich football program.
But, next week, Hope will be on the opposite sideline as the Colonels take the field for their season opener.
Hope, a former EKU offensive lineman, is now the head coach at Purdue. The Boilermakers will take on the Colonels next Saturday in West Lafayette, Ind.
It will mark just the second time in his coaching career that Hope has coached against his alma mater (1985 as a graduate assistant at Louisville).
Hope took a few moments Friday to talk to the Richmond Register about the season opener, his favorite memories of EKU and the outlook for this year’s Colonels.
NH: With your connections to the school, has enough time passed since you left to make this game a little less emotional for you?
DH: The game is not about me. It’s about Purdue versus EKU. Anytime you are going against (your alma mater), I think that’s exciting. When I was a player I really want to get after it to earn the respect of my teammates. I really thought that was important. Honestly, I want my team to play well so that the people where I came from (EKU) can see that I am doing a good job here. I want to make a good impression.
NH: You joined the staff at Purdue five years ago. So, you won’t be coaching against of your former players next Saturday. Does that make any difference?
DH: I do know some of the players. I recruited some of them. I’ve know Patrick Ford since he was just a boy. Me and his dad played together and we are good friends. We recruited Aaron Adams hard. So, that creates some distance, obviously.