NORMAL — The Purdue University football program has moved on, firing head coach Darrell Hazell earlier this week after a 9-33 record in three-plus seasons.
A former Purdue defensive coordinator who has been a success as head coach at Illinois State since leaving the Boilermakers, Brock Spack has popped up on several lists of potential replacements.
Spack, however, says he has moved on as well.
“I don’t see it happening,” Spack said Tuesday. “I’ve kind of moved on from that a long time ago.”
Purdue holds a special place in Spack’s heart.
He was an all-Big Ten Conference linebacker at the school before serving as an assistant coach with the Boilermakers. Spack met his wife, Aimee, at Purdue and their children, Alicia and Brent, grew up in West Lafayette, Ind.
Brent Spack was a sophomore in high school when the Spacks moved to Bloomington-Normal and is in his senior season as a Redbird linebacker.
“They stink right now. I hope they get a good coach,” said Spack. “I’ve got a lot of pride in the place. I put 22 years of my life in there. I like to see them win. But I don’t think it will be me.”
Spack was considered for the Purdue job after the 2008 season. When Danny Hope was hired, Spack became a head coach for the first time at ISU. Spack’s name surfaced as a candidate once again in 2012 when Hope was dismissed, but Hazell was selected.
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“I’m not paying attention to that stuff. I have in the past,” said Spack, who has a 59-33 record in his eighth season with the Redbirds. “I have my own problems right now. I’m at a great place. My focus is on the Redbirds right now.”
The 54-year-old Spack said he has not been contacted by Purdue or anyone on Purdue’s behalf. “I’m not anticipating any (contact) either.
“I just don’t see Purdue going after an FCS head coach right now. It’s difficult for me. It’s the same record that keeps playing over and over again. I don’t think it’s healthy for me to go through all that stuff so I don’t really think about it."
Spack feels a sense of loyalty to ISU.
“This place gave me a great opportunity. I’ve been very grateful for that opportunity,” he said. “I want to do a really good job with the job I have. These are people who had faith in me and our staff and our players.
"I owe it to our university and community and more importantly to the players who play here every day and the men and women who work here.”
Spack believes Purdue athletic director Mike Bobinski, who has only been on the job since August, has a plan and it does not include him.
“I don’t know the new AD. But if a corporation gets rid of its CEO, they have a person in mind they are going to replace him or her with,” said Spack. “I assume that would be the case here. If you don’t, you’re not very smart, particularly to upset the apple cart this time of year.”