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Sources: Purdue to hire Hope, will take over for Tiller in 2009

INDIANAPOLIS -- Purdue could announce the successor to football coach Joe Tiller as soon as Friday.

ESPN's Joe Schad reported on Thursday, and Purdue confirmed in an announcement on Friday that Eastern Kentucky coach Danny Hope will join the Purdue staff immediately and will succeed Tiller after the conclusion of next season.

Hope will serve as the Boilermakers' assistant head coach in 2008 and will be Purdue's head coach in 2009.

Purdue wants to emulate Wisconsin's success in having named defensive coordinator Bret Bielema as successor to Barry Alvarez and even spoke with one of Bielema's coaches, Paul Chryst, about the position. Florida State also recently named Jimbo Fisher as coach-in-waiting to succeed Bobby Bowden.

The 49-year-old Hope was an offensive line coach on Tiller's
staffs at Wyoming, then Purdue, before leaving the Boilermakers
after the 2001 season.

After one season as assistant head coach at Louisville, Hope is
35-22 in five winning seasons at Eastern Kentucky.

In 2007, he led the Colonels to a 9-3 record and the Ohio Valley
Conference title and was a Football Championship Subdivision
Regional Coach of the Year.

Tiller came to Purdue from Wyoming in 1997 and has a record of
83-54 with the team, one win short of the record 84 won by Jack
Mollenkopf in 1956-69.

"We've changed the culture surrounding the football program,"
Tiller said before the 2007 season. "I think that we certainly
have changed the expectation level, and I don't know if that's good
or bad."

It was both.

Tiller's teams went 83-54 from 1997 through 2007, one win short
of the record 84 won by Jack Mollenkopf in 1956-69. Under Tiller,
the Boilermakers made 10 bowl appearances in 11 years, including
the high point in 2000 when Drew Brees led the team to the Rose
Bowl for the first time since 1967 and was third in the Heisman
Trophy voting.

Purdue's success, however, created such high expectations that
the Boilermakers' failure to reach the perennial elite status of
traditional Big Ten powers Michigan and Ohio State fueled
frustration by many fans.

Purdue started last season 5-0, but consecutive losses to the
Buckeyes and Wolverines doomed the Boilermakers once again to
second-tier status in the conference. They finished the regular
season with three straight losses -- including their first to rival
Indiana since 2001 -- before outlasting Central Michigan 51-48 in
the Motor City Bowl to finish at 8-5.

Even then, with three more years on Tiller's contract with
Purdue, the grumbling never subsided.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.