Purdue's Hope hires first two assistants
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
The Danny Hope era is under way at Purdue, and the new Boilermakers coach has started to form his staff for 2009.
Today, Hope hired Gary Nord as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach and Shawn Clark as offensive line coach. He also promoted graduate assistant J.B. Gibboney to special teams coordinator.
The hirings mean that Ed Zaunbrecher will not be retained as offensive coordinator. Purdue ranked last in the Big Ten in scoring before exploding for 62 points in the season finale against Indiana. Clark actually replaces Hope, who coached Purdue's offensive linemen this season.
Tight ends coach John McDonnell also won't be retained, and defensive tackles coach Mark Hagen no longer will oversee special teams. Purdue ranked last in the Big Ten in both punting and kickoff coverage this season.
Nord comes to Purdue from Florida Atlantic, where he has served as offensive coordinator since 2005. He also served as offensive coordinator at UTEP and Oklahoma and worked with Hope at Louisville from 1985-1995. Like Hope, he has ties to Florida that will help change the recruiting landscape at Purdue.
"Gary has one of the top offensive minds in the nation," Hope said in a statement. "He also is an outstanding recruiter. We are fortunate to get someone with his background and experience. He's a real catch for us."
Clark served on Hope's staff at Eastern Kentucky from 2003-07 and remained with the Colonels this season. He first met Hope in 2002 as a graduate assistant at Louisville.
"I have known Shawn virtually his entire career, and he coaches the O-line the way I want it to be coached," Hope said. "He's a bright young coach with a tremendous work ethic, and he's a former lineman himself, so the players know they are learning from someone who has been there, done that."
It will be interesting to see what Hope does with the rest of Joe Tiller's staff. I'm particularly interested to see if Brock Spack is retained as defensive coordinator. Hope and Spack go way back, to Hope's first stint on the Purdue staff.
The Boilermakers defense performed well for much of the season, and Spack might have earned the right to remain in West Lafayette.
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
5:24 4th Qtr Miami (FL) 14 South Carolina 17 Halftime Boston College 7 Penn State 7 8:00 PM ET Nebraska 24 USC Final Cincinnati 17 Virginia Tech 33 Final 15 Arizona State 36 Duke 31
Final Nevada 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Final Utah State 21 UTEP 6 Final 22 Utah 45 Colorado State 10 Final Western Michigan 24 Air Force 38 Final South Alabama 28 Bowling Green 33
Final Marshall 52 Northern Illinois 23 Final Navy 17 San Diego State 16
Final Central Michigan 48 Western Kentucky 49 Final Fresno State 6 Rice 30
Final Illinois 18 Louisiana Tech 35 Final Rutgers 40 North Carolina 21 Final North Carolina State 34 UCF 27
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State