This and that: The new Purdue football era edition
Purdue moves quickly to land Ryan Walters, its new head football coach. Plus, a lot of this, a lot of that for the midweek edition.
Thanks the Long Center for the Performing Arts for sponsoring today’s edition. The Long Center invites you to Dragons & Mythical Beasts, featuring a magical world of myths and legends in this fantastical new show for all the family. Coming March 24 to the historic downtown theater. For tickets and more, check out longpac.org/events/dragons-mythical-beasts
A lot of this, a lot of that for the midweek edition …
INTRODUCING YOUR NEW PURDUE FOOTBALL COACH, RYAN WALTERS
Purdue didn’t let the speculation machine get rolling too far, hiring Ryan Walters, defensive coordinator with Illinois, as its next head football coach, less than a week after Jeff Brohm took the job at his alma mater, University of Louisville.
Purdue plans on Wednesday to formally introduce Walters, who played safety at Colorado (#ShoulderToShoulder) and had assistant coaching stops at Missouri, Memphis and North Texas. Then, according to a university release, Walters will spend the coming weeks watching the Boilers prepare for LSU in the Citrus Bowl, which is Jan. 2.
But not before putting Devin Mockobee on scholarship after a star season at running back as a walk-on freshman. Nice first move.
Here were a few of the reads through the day, after the late-morning announcement.
From AP reporter Michael Marot, with the initial basics: “Purdue hires Illini coordinator Ryan Walters as new coach.”
Indianapolis Star columnist Gregg Doyel jumped in feet first, saying he liked the pick, telling you he wasn’t afraid of you Googling this column years from now: “Purdue hiring a defensive guy as head coach? Weird. Hiring Ryan Walters? Wonderful.”
IndyStar reporter Scott Horner had this: “7 things you should know about Purdue football coach Ryan Walters.”
GoldandBlack.com reporter Brian Neubert wrote about an It Factor for Walters: “(Purdue AD) Mike Bobinski’s track record with up-and-coming coaches in basketball and football (Jeff Brohm) alike is strong, and Purdue will hope here that his eye for such things is true once again, and that they hired this guy before anyone else had a chance to, same way things unfolded with Matt Painter and Jeff Brohm under different circumstances.” Here’s more from Neubert about what could make or break this decision for Purdue in the coming years: “A Few Thoughts: Purdue's hiring of Ryan Walters.”
Also in GoldandBlack.com, reporter Tom Dienhart interviewed UNLV coach Barry Odom, who brought Walters to Missouri when he was head coach there: “Who is new Purdue coach Ryan Walters? Mentor Barry Odom paints picture.”
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SPEAKING OF GUARDS CHANGING AT PURDUE …
A new fire chief: Purdue on mark the change of command in its fire department Wednesday, honoring Fire Chief Kevin Ply, who is retiring, and handing the department to Brad Anderson, who will move from deputy chief to chief. Purdue last week announced Ply’s retirement, effective on Dec. 31. Ply started with the Purdue University Fire Department in 1999. He’s been chief since 2007. Anderson, also a Tippecanoe School Corp. board member, has been with the Purdue department since 2006. He’ll officially become chief Dec. 19, according to Purdue. Ahead of that, Purdue will hold a Change of Command Ceremony from 11 a.m. to noon Wednesday in the Feature Gym of the Córdova Recreational Sports Center.
Farewell for the provost: Purdue will hold a reception honoring Jay Akridge, who is stepping down as provost at the end of the semester, from 3:30-5 p.m. Wednesday in the Purdue Memorial Union ballrooms. Akridge has been provost since 2017 will return to a post on the faculty in the College of Agriculture. The reception comes as Purdue weighs a decision on his replacement, after a series of public forums last week with three on-campus finalists: Marion Underwood, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences; Eric Barker, dean of the College of Pharmacy; and Patrick Wolfe, dean of the College of Science.
SIGNING OFF ON WEST SIDE: West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis was on hand Monday night to thank two longtime West Lafayette school board members during their final board meeting: Karen Springer, who was on the board for 24 years, and Alan Karpick, who served for 16 years. “You have made a difference,” Dennis told them. “You have made this a better place. You have made this a better school corporation. And in doing that, you have made this a better city.” Springer, who lost in a six-way contest for three seats in the November election, said she was “proud of all that we have accomplished for the students.” Karpick, who had been school board president for much of his time, did not run for re-election. He said he got more out of the experience than he put in. Karpick encouraged the new board to concentrated on service, teamwork and leadership and to “find a way to always, always, always to keep the children in mind, because that’s what it’s all about.” In 2023, they will be replaced on the board by Dacia Mumford and Laurence Wang. Board president Rachel Witt won the other seat in her re-election bid.
HOSPITALS FILLING STATEWIDE: Last week, Lafayette’s two hospitals put out a plea for people to get their flu shot and COVID-19 booster as emergency rooms filled with patients, pushing Franciscan and IU Arnett hospitals into triage mode. This week, the Indiana State Health Department issued similar warnings coming out of hospitals statewide, amid an early season run on flu and other respiratory illnesses. As of Dec. 3, according to state stats, the flu had killed 24 people, including one child. Indiana Capital Chronicle reporter Leslie Bonilla Muñiz had more in this report: “Hoosier hospitals filling with flu patients, state health chief warns: get vaxxed.”
SEN. YOUNG CENSURED BY CASS COUNTY GOP: On Tuesday, President Joe Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act into law. The measure offers same-sex and interracial couples federal protections, after it was hinted that the Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade on abortion rights could be replicated in some fashion on marriage rights. Days earlier, Republicans in Cass County – two counties up the Hoosier Heartland Highway from Lafayette – censured U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Indiana, for voting in favor of the act. The Cass County GOP considered that a “betrayal,” according to the letter sent to Young. Indianapolis Star reporter Kayla Dwyer had a good look at how that happened, how it wound up national news and what other county-level Republicans were doing in response after Cass County Republicans asked them to tag along. Here’s a way into the story: “Cass County GOP 'censures' Todd Young over same-sex marriage vote. Will others follow?”
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