Monday, August 1, 2016

A Look at the Purdue Head Coach Finalists

A report over the weekend from the Lafayette (IN) Journal & Courier broke the news that Purdue’s head coaching search has been narrowed down to a quartet of candidates. The remaining candidates reportedly include New Mexico State head coach Kathy Rodolph; Butler head coach Scott Hall; Arkansas assistant coach Boo Gillette De Oliveira; and St. Gregory’s head coach D.J. Sanchez.

Let’s take a look at the highlights and downsides to all four candidates for the offseason’s last-remaining Power Five job.

Rodolph: Earned her 400th victory with the Aggies in 2016 and has more than 600 victories to her name overall as a head coach. She has led NMSU to back-to-back WAC regular-season titles and was named WAC coach of the year in both years. Rodolph’s Aggie squad posted an “0-fer” against Power Five programs in 2016, going 0-12 after a 4-10 showing in 2015 against higher-level clubs.

Hall: The Butler head coach has spent a half-dozen seasons at the helm of the Bulldogs, amassing a sub-.500 record of 155-159 in that time frame. He led the Bulldogs to the NCAA tournament for the first-time ever via the Big East Tournament championship in 2016 after earning the #4 seed in the tournament. Hall came to Butler after a dozen years as a high school head coach.

De Oliveira: A Big 10 alum with assistant coaching stints at Arizona State; North Carolina; as well as with the Boilermakers from 2007-2010. She was part of the Boilermakers’ first-ever NCAA tournament-bound squad in 2008 and served as an assistant coach at ASU during Craig Nicholson’s tenure in Tempe. Despite the name recognition of the programs she’s coached at, none have been championship-caliber clubs and this would be De Oliveira’s first head coaching position.

Sanchez: After four seasons at St. Gregory’s, an NAIA school, the Oklahoma alum and former NPF draft selection has seen her “star” quickly and steadily rise this offseason, being considered for multiple positions. She posted a 171-47 record in four seasons at the program’s helm, including a 48-7 mark a year ago. She has Power Five coaching experience after an assistant’s gig at Kansas, but the NAIA-to-Power Five jump is a huge one and undoubtedly would come with a large learning curve.

All four are vying to replace Kim Schuette, who resigned her post this offseason after three seasons at the helm of the Boilermakers.

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