Danny Hope wasn’t looking for another job.

He was very happy at Eastern Kentucky University and had absolutely no desire to leave his alma mater.

But, when he was presented the opportunity to become a Division I-A head coach in a top-notch conference at a school he had a great deal of affection for, he simply couldn’t turn down the offer.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Hope said Saturday of joining the coaching staff at Purdue. “It was a tough decision in a lot of ways, but a no-brainer in some (ways). But, I feel good about the decision.”

Hope was introduced as the new associate head coach at Purdue University on Friday in West Lafayette, Ind. The former Colonel player and coach will take over the program when long-time coach Joe Tiller retires following next season.

Hope received a six-year deal from Purdue and could make as much as $1 million a season in each of the last five years of the contract.

He was back in Richmond on Saturday and addressed the media at a some-what emotional, yet low-key press conference at Roy Kidd Stadium.

“I did not pursue the job,” Hope said. “I’ve not pursued any job since I’ve been here. I was contacted over the holidays and I had to think really hard about the commitment we made here and how deep were involved in the development process we were in right now. It was very, very difficult in the beginning, but the more I thought about it and researched it became obvious it was a great opportunity — maybe a once-in-a-lifetime shot. If you are a competitive person, it’s hard to turn that down.”

Hope played at EKU and was member of a national championship and a national runner-up team. He went to serve as an assistant coach at Louisville and Oklahoma. The former EKU lineman later worked under Tiller at Wyoming and Purdue.

He took over for legendary coach Roy Kidd in 2003 and led the Colonels to 35-22 record in five seasons, including the 2007 Ohio Valley Conference championship.

Hope interviewed for the position Jan. 4 and was offered the job Tuesday. Media reports about his possible hiring began to surface on Wednesday, but he was not officially introduced until Friday’s press conference.

Hope said on Saturday that he had not spoken with his players, but that he had gotten word to them through the team’s coaching staff. He said he intended to meet with prior to today’s annual team banquet.

“I want to look at them eye-to-eye and speak with them personally,” Hope said.

Hope kept his opening comments brief on Saturday, just as did the day before in front of the media in West Lafayette, but he repeatedly talked about his strong connection to his alma mater and just how truly difficult the decision was for him in the end.

“It was a very proud situation for me to be able to set with the people involved in the selection committee and talk about Eastern Kentucky University,” Hope said.

React to this story:


Recommended for you